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Semiconductor Leaders Agree On Global Policy Agenda

 

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, has welcomed recommendations agreed to by global semiconductor industry leaders at the 22nd annual meeting of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) in San Diego, Calif. The agreement sets forth a series of policy proposals to strengthen the industry through greater international collaboration. The WSC is a worldwide body of semiconductor industry executives from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States that meets annually to address issues of global concern to the semiconductor industry. Recommendations from this year's meeting are included in the 2018 WSC Joint Statement.

"The World Semiconductor Council provides a valuable forum, unmatched by other sectors, for industry leaders from around the world to advance mutually beneficial policies," said Matt Murphy, President and CEO of Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVL), 2018 SIA chairman, and chair of this year's WSC meeting. "The next era of technological progress – in areas such as IoT, energy-efficient sensing, automated devices, robotics, and AI – can only be achieved in a public policy environment that facilitates free and fair trade, promotes semiconductor innovation the world over, and strengthens the global semiconductor industry for years to come."

The WSC this week reaffirmed one of its core missions: to ensure government policies are guided by market-based principles. To that end, and to promote greater transparency in government policies impacting our industry, the WSC is undertaking a self-notification exercise in which each economy represented in the body is providing detailed information on government-sponsored programs that support the semiconductor industries in their economies. The WSC is also committed to continuing dialogue with relevant governments to promote fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory practices about government supported programs.

The WSC also reaffirmed its commitment to strive for a tariff-free environment for semiconductors and ICT products. As part of this effort, the WSC is actively encouraging more countries to join the expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The expanded ITA, which took effect on July 1, 2016, covers an estimated $1.3 trillion in global sales of tech products and eliminates tariffs on new and innovative semiconductor products, including multi-component semiconductors (MCOs). This was the first expansion of the ITA since 1996, when the agreement was originally concluded.

In addition to the action taken on regional support programs and ITA expansion, industry leaders in attendance advanced policy discussions and developed recommendations in the following areas:

· Encryption – Ensuring open global market access for commercial encryption products by advocating for WSC encryption principles to be included in trade agreements being negotiated or contemplated by WSC governments/authorities.

· Environment, Safety and Health – Continuing efforts to reduce the industry's emissions of PFCs (perfluorocompound) and highlighting the industry's successful efforts to manage chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing.

· Protection of Intellectual Property – Supporting efforts to further strengthen the protection of trade secrets and improve patent quality.

The meeting also featured a panel discussion with invited experts on artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications for the semiconductor industry in terms of technology development, policy, and opportunities for industry growth.

Industry officials from the six regions represented in the WSC will deliver policy recommendations to an annual meeting of their governments set to take place in Chiba (Tokyo), Japan in October. This meeting provides an opportunity for industry to convey the importance of implementing the recommendations and explore areas of mutual interest with governments worldwide.

"The semiconductor industry is perhaps more dependent than any other sector on a highly complex and evolving global supply chain," said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "The WSC is a shining example of our industry's unmatched commitment to international partnership, and its 2018 recommendations will benefit governments, businesses, and consumers across the globe."

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