A report by the US International Trade Commission provides evidence that innovation by a U.S. company at the head of a global value chain can benefit both the company and U.S. workers. In this context, Apple's iPod was used a primary evidence and the subject matter for the case-study.
In an era of globalization, many skeptics argue that as opposed to the many positive aspects of globalization like lowered consumer prize, the concept also has a strong negative impact on US workers. When both production and research and development (R&D) are increasingly done offshore, it can affect the US workers in terms of job losses, lower earnings for U.S. workers, and a potential loss of technology to foreign rivals.
Using the example of Apple iPod, the report mentions that Apple keeps most of its research and development (R&D) and corporate support functions in the United States, providing thousands of high-paid professional and engineering jobs that can be attributed to the success of the iPod.
This case provides evidence that innovation by a U.S. company at the head of a global value chain can benefit both the company and U.S. workers. It also mentions that a major section of electronic goods is consumed by the United States. Still, we find that most of the high-paying jobs in the iPod value chain are in the United States, even though more jobs overall are offshore.
Furthermore, according to the estimates presented by the report, the total wages paid to the U.S. workers are more than double those paid overseas. The authors of the report mentions that in the year 2006, workers received over $1 billion in earnings from iPod-related jobs. Of this total, nearly $750 million went to U.S. workers and about $320 million, less than half as much, to workers outside the United States.