SIA identifies key trade priorities

San Jose, CA – Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) President George Scalise has been asked to testify before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the importance of the new round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks to America’s semiconductor industry.

“The information technology revolution has been driven in large part by the ability of the semiconductor industry to make chips that are ever smaller, faster, and cheaper. Achieving these increases in functionality costs literally billions of dollars a year — which makes it critical that our companies have the ability to compete fairly in world markets in order to recoup their costs and keep investing in innovation,” Scalise said.

“American chipmakers hold just over 50% of world market share — where we can compete fairly we are successful — and that is why eliminating barriers to trade and further opening world markets is vital to our industry,” Scalise added.

Antidumping and trade laws are among the issues that will be discussed as part of the new round of talks. “The antidumping laws ensure that fair competition is possible. No one can take an objective look at the world’s semiconductor market today and not conclude that there is vibrant competition that benefits consumers. That competition is a direct result of preserving viable competitors from the destruction caused by unfair dumping,” said Scalise.

SIA’s priorities for the new round of WTO talks include:

  • Maintaining strong US trade laws, including the antidumping laws;
    Opening markets through tariff cuts, in particular through increasing signatories to the Information Technology Agreement, which eliminates tariffs on a broad range of IT goods;

  • Ensuring that competition policies are not used to protect or promote domestic industries;

  • Securing an environment that favors the future development of e-commerce, including a permanent moratorium on customs duties and the development of rules that breed competition and growth;
    Improving and expanding rules on investment to insure freer market access around the world;

  • Ensuring that intellectual property is fully protected, and all existing WTO commitments are implemented;

  • Eliminating the current disparity in WTO rules that allows the EU and others to rebate value added taxes on exports but disallows US programs that provide identical economic benefits; and

  • Fixing the WTO Dispute Settlement process, which appears to be ineffective against informal barriers of the kind that the semiconductor industry faced in the 1980s.

“I applaud the House of Representatives and the Senate Finance Committee for passing legislation to grant the president authority to negotiate further trade opening agreements. I hope the full Senate will soon follow their lead and pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation so that our negotiators can get to work opening markets for America’s most competitive companies,” Scalise said.


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