Statement by Grant Aldonas, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, on the European Commission's Ruling on Intel Today

ARLINGTON, Va., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- ARLINGTON, Va., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Grant Aldonas:

"This is a potentially costly ruling for both the United States and Europe. It could lead to higher computer prices, which will hinder investment in information technology, making both economic recovery and improvements in our long-term competitiveness more difficult. Given the implications for R&D that drives Intel's investment in both Europe and the United States, it makes little sense to divert these funds to the European Union's coffers instead. If the United States wants to remain competitive, it is vital that it not follow this European model of punishing companies for the simple reason that they are more successful than their competitors.

There is, however, an important lesson here for the new Administration. President Obama's efforts to get the economy back on track can easily be derailed by making the wrong choices in other areas of economic policy. Following the European Commission's approach, which amounts to insulating Intel's competitors from vigorous competition, would erode, rather than encourage, rising U.S. productivity and competitiveness.

Given the broader trend toward protectionism we see globally in the face of the current economic crisis, I can't help but wonder whether the EU's singling out of an American company for this sort of fine isn't protectionism by another name, with the fine replacing the more conventional means of protection, like tariffs, that the WTO now enjoins."

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