High-definition television (HDTV) could represent a challenging opportunity for US manufacturers to regain leadership in consumer electronics, if errors of the past are not repeated. The key factors that have contributed to the decline of the US consumer electronics industry are examined. The business strategies that Japan and Europe used to edge out American manufacturers, along with the content of congressional bills designed to promote the development of a US HDTV manufacturing industry, are reviewed. Major provisions include tax incentives for research and development, relaxation of antitrust laws, and federal support. A set of policies to revive the entrepreneurial spirit and industrial leadership of US manufacturers in consumer electronics is recommended. A multifaceted reform, including educational, economic, and political transformations, is essential to ensure a sound base for American companies' reentry into the highly competitive consumer electronics market.
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