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Trump announces budget cuts that may give China tech leadership

Patrick Thibodeau | Feb. 28, 2017
China continues to remind the U.S. it is winning the supercomputing race

Atkinson would like to see the U.S. increase, over five years, R&D by $100 billion, which would raise the R&D budget to a level that is comparable with that in President Ronald Reagan's era.

If the Trump administration follows Heritage's advice and rolls back the Department of Energy's advanced-computing research to the 2008 level -- a 35% cut -- the U.S. "would cede the advantage to America's global competitors, which are doing the exact opposite -- significantly increasing their investment in R&D and deployment of these technologies," the ITIF said in its report.

Ray Bjorklund, president of government IT market research firm Birchgrove Consulting, expects the Trump administration will get some, but not all, of what it asks for from Congress. The Democrats will likely seek increases in domestic spending in exchange for a large hike in national security spending, he said.

Bjorklund believes that federal contract spending in most agencies will decline 10%.

"The ramp-up in national security spending will be largely directed to hiring people, namely armed service members and law enforcement officers for border protection and customs and immigration enforcement," said Bjorklund.

The Trump budget also could spell trouble for other science-based agencies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


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