U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Applied Materials in Austin, Texas today to tour one of our semiconductor manufacturing lines and deliver remarks on making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.
President Barack Obama meets with members of the Technology CEO Council in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2011. Seated across from the President, from left are; Joseph Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO, EMC Corporation; Michael Splinter, CEO, Applied Materials; Sam Palmisano, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM; Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation; Michael Dell, Founder and CEO, Dell; and Steve Appleton, CEO, Micron Technology. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On Tuesday Mike Splinter Applied Materials Chairman and CEO and other members of the Technology CEO Council (TCC) met with President Obama and his senior advisers in the White House. Mike and the TCC CEOs discussed with the President and his team a variety of issues, all centered on U.S. competitiveness. Playing off many of the themes sounded by President Obama in his State of the Union address, the dialogue touched on innovation, taxes, trade, making government more efficient and regulation and other areas. The President recognizes the importance of innovation as the driving force behind U.S. economic prosperity and we at Applied Materials share his enthusiasm on the topic. On taxes, the CEOs conveyed the importance of aligning corporate tax structure to make the United States the favored destination for investment. Noting that 95% of the world's customers are outside the United States, the CEOs also noted the important of trade to U.S. economic prosperity -- and the President agreed. On the topic of making government more efficient, TCC members outlined the proposals contained in One Trillion Reasons.
In his first Oval Office address to the nation on Tuesday, President Obama laid out the steps needed to bring about our country’s next great industry. For starters, America has to regain its economic competitiveness with respect to our investment in clean energy technologies. Last year, China surpassed us in this space by an almost two-to-one margin.
Despite the ongoing tragedy in the Gulf, there is still a glimmer of hope to be found amid the devastating oil spill: real attention is finally being paid to the need for a clean energy transition, and at the highest levels of government no less. In a speech delivered at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh last Wednesday, President Obama reiterated his appeal to Congress to pass a climate change bill this year.
The western visitor to Asia is greeted by a mélange of different sensory inputs that sometimes can be disorienting. But the disorientation that I found at the APEC CEO Summit in Singapore was of a whole different sort, and far more worrisome, than not understanding a menu or wondering what that smell could be.
The cause for my concern is that the United States is falling behind the countries of the Asia-Pacific region economically, and they are not looking back or waiting for us to catch up.
This has been a very bright week indeed for solar. Not only did I witness the opening of Applied Materials’ Solar Technology Center—the world’s largest non-governmental solar energy research facility in Xi’an, China—but I was heartened to learn that halfway around the world, in the United States, solar energy was given quite the spotlight as well.