mandating that resulting products be substantially manufactured in the United States. In addition, several programs include reciprocity provisions that require the home governments of foreign based participants to grant U.S.-based companies access to similar programs.
The task force agrees that in the future tapping the capabilities of foreign-based companies will sometimes be required to meet the national goals pursued through government R&D programs. However, there are differences of perspective over how the issue should be addressed by the United States in the short term.
Several members point out that there is no evidence that reciprocity requirements advance national interests or actually lead to greater reciprocity. Barring access to otherwise qualified foreign-based companies may deprive a project of important capabilities. In addition, reciprocity requirements go against long-standing U.S. commitments to the principle of national treatment. According to this perspective, the United States should drop reciprocity requirements where they exist today and not include them in future programs. Reciprocal access to foreign government programs should be pursued through the formulation of multilateral rules. The underlying ability of U.S.-based firms to participate effectively in foreign R&D programs should also be pursued through multilateral rules covering competition policy and direct investment, as outlined above. Finally, some members would retain nondiscriminatory performance requirements focused on ensuring that corporate participants retain full-spectrum capabilities in the United States, including R&D and manufacturing.
Other task force members believe that in the absence of multilateral rules reciprocity is a perfectly reasonable condition to insist on where publicly-funded research might result in benefits to companies based outside the United States and to foreign citizens. This is particularly true in the case of Japan. Japanese companies and citizens already enjoy broad access to U.S. R&D conducted at universities and national laboratories. Survey and anecdotal reports indicate that Japanese companies make strategic and targeted use of this access.29 Because of the relatively greater difficulty experienced by U.S. industry in participating in the Japanese market, as described above, U.S.-based companies generally have less ability to participate in Japanese publicly funded R&D. In addition, Japanese and U.S. approaches to formulating commercially oriented technology programs are quite different. While the United States tends to rely on transparent competitive procedures for developing programs, Japan often develops initiatives through informal consultations some time before projects are funded.30 In recent years, foreign companies have sometimes been invited to participate in Japanese programs based on their capabilities. Some task force members believe that at least in Japan's case reciprocity requirements may be warranted for some programs until opportunities to access Japanese programs can be ensured.