None of the major players that make up the global robotics industry are based in the U.S.
Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, has a suggestion for President-elect Donald Trump: Invest $100 billion in jump-starting the national robotics industry.
In a blog post yesterday, Cuban pointed out that the United States isn’t home to any of the world’s leading robotics companies. Meanwhile, China is far outspending the U.S. in supporting its robotics industry, according to a report Cuban cites from Bernstein, a global investment management firm.
China currently spends $3 billion annually on robotics, according to the report. The U.S., on the other hand, only spends about $100 million a year, according to Cuban.
“We have to face the fact that countries are going to lose jobs to robotics,” Cuban wrote. “The only question that needs to be answered is which country will create and own the best robotic technology and have the infrastructure necessary to enable it.”
If the U.S. hopes to continue to maintain economic independence, Cuban says, Trump needs to invest in robotics the same way the government has invested in the renewable energy industry.
Cuban says Trump should use $100 billion from the $1 trillion the president-elect has pledged to rebuild American infrastructure on jump-starting the national robotics industry.
Cuban isn’t alone. In November, just ahead of the election, a group of 150 academics and industry leaders wrote a detailed 100-page report, A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics, listing specific ways Congress should support the nation’s burgeoning robotics sector.
The first Roadmap for Robotics report, published in 2009, inspired the Obama administration to launch the National Robotics Initiative in 2011, which allocated $70 million to advancing robotics research.
The robots that will replace American manufacturing jobs, industrial robots, are all made by non-U.S. companies, according to Frank Tobe, who publishes the Robot Report, an industry news site.
The last major industrial robotics maker that was an American company, Adept Technologies, says Tobe, was acquired by Omron, a Japanese company in 2015.
Cuban supported Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in the presidential election.