With the new year upon us and the 113th Congress now underway, SIA is focused on advancing the U.S. semiconductor industry’s key policy objectives for 2013. Our industry is critical to America’s economic strength, national security and global competitiveness. SIA’s 2013 Policy Roadmap – outlined below – will help keep America at the forefront of innovation and ensure the long-term success of the U.S. semiconductor industry:
1. Facilitate open markets and protect intellectual property to fuel semiconductor industry growth. As the semiconductor industry continues to expand to new areas across the globe, it has never been more important to promote free and open international trade and safeguard IP rights. In 2013, SIA will work to achieve broad duty-free coverage of advanced semiconductor technologies in the updated Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and promote industry priorities during Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and through the World Semiconductor Council (WSC), among other initiatives.
2. Support federal funding for university research to discover the next generation of semiconductor technologies. Although policymakers recently reached a deal to avert the fiscal cliff in the short term, a long term agreement on federal spending was delayed for two months, leaving critical federal R&D investments in jeopardy. SIA will work to protect funding for key semiconductor research programs at federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.
3. Streamline export control regulations to allow U.S. semiconductor companies to effectively compete in the global market while protecting national security. As one of America’s top exporters, export control reform is critical to our industry. We strongly support appropriate controls on strategic technologies to protect national security, but excessive restrictions stifle the ability of American companies to compete abroad. We will work to secure relief on troublesome “rad hard” requirements, ensure the proper administration of recently-passed satellite decontrol legislation that benefits our industry, and advocate for comprehensive reform of integrated circuit controls, among other efforts.
4. Reform the corporate tax system to enhance America’s competitiveness, boost U.S. design and manufacturing, and promote American innovation. America’s tax structure lags behind many other countries’ systems, blocking possible pathways to innovation in the U.S. SIA will work to ensure that any tax legislation reflects the semiconductor industry’s core tax priorities – adoption of a lower rate, a territorial system, and incentives for innovation. We are pleased that Congress recently extended the R&D tax credit through 2013, and we will continue our push to expand the credit and make it permanent.
5. Improve the security and authentication of semiconductor products through partnerships with industry and government. With the proliferation of counterfeit semiconductors a growing economic and national security concern, SIA will work to advance legislation that stops counterfeit semiconductors from entering the U.S., promote stricter government procurement guidelines, enhance international efforts to stop counterfeiting at its source, and explore various research opportunities and technology solutions in order to drive the debate on the future of technology security.
6. Support sustainability practices and innovation development by ensuring that regulations meet the needs of the semiconductor industry. The U.S. semiconductor industry has a longstanding and distinguished record of environmental stewardship. However, certain environmental regulations – when applied broadly to all industries – could inappropriately undermine semiconductor design and manufacturing processes in the U.S. We will work to continue protecting the environment while also ensuring that regulation of chemicals and other materials does not limit industry’s current operations, product design, or future innovation.
Through hard work and ingenuity, the semiconductor industry creates American jobs, drives U.S. economic growth and leads the global market. By enacting SIA’s Policy Roadmap in 2013, policymakers can further strengthen the industry and help unlock its full potential.