May 15, 2006 – The World Semiconductor Council laid out the agenda at its 10th anniversary meeting last week, with a wide-ranging set of recommendations for expanding global trade of information technology products. Among the items discussed: elimination of levies and tariffs and promoting free trade; improving environmental, health, and safety practices; and expanding membership to include associations of countries with growing importance — notably China.
In a joint statement (representing semiconductor associations of Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the US), the council applauded recent agreements to eliminate tariffs on multichip semiconductor packages, and called for support to work toward eliminating remaining tariffs, while criticizing a trend to collect “copyright levies” that raise the cost of digital electronics products. The group also called for stronger IP protection.
The members also pledged to reduce usage of, and find substitutes for, process chemicals containing perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS), and pushed for partnerships involving equipment and materials suppliers to develop best practices for energy savings.
Another stated goal of the WSC is to expand membership to include the semiconductor industry associations of countries or regions seen of major importance in the world semiconductor industry. The group pointes specifically to the China Semiconductor Industry Association, but noted such inclusion would first require Chinese government support.
The full joint statement from the WSC’s meeting is available on the SIA’s Web site, at http://www.sia-online.org.