Fueling U.S. Semiconductor Competitiveness: Open Markets Abroad

Thursday, May 02, 2024, 10:30am

by Mary Thornton, Vice President, Global Policy

To maintain U.S. semiconductor leadership, the United States needs a robust trade policy to complement efforts to run faster here at home. That was the main message of public comments SIA submitted on April 22 in response to the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) request for information on how trade policy can strengthen U.S. supply chain resilience.

President Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act into law in 2022 to incentivize growth in the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem, strengthen our supply chains, and ensure the U.S. semiconductor industry remains globally competitive. Boiled down, it was a bold, bipartisan plan to get more chip manufacturing happening right here in America.

This historic initiative has already notched significant results. Companies across the semiconductor ecosystem have announced more than 80 new projects across America—now approaching a half a trillion dollars in private investments—since the CHIPS Act was introduced[1]. But to ensure long-term competitiveness of U.S. semiconductor companies and to make the CHIPS Act even more potent, we need bigger markets globally where SIA members can sell the chips they manufacture here at home.

Indeed, U.S.-headquartered semiconductor companies generate 75% of their revenue from sales to foreign markets. Unfortunately, last year U.S. chip exports dropped by 14%[2], despite U.S. government efforts to build greater economic supply chain integration and resilience through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP).

SIA strongly recommends USTR effectively leverage trade policy and pursue market-opening initiatives to boost global demand for U.S. semiconductors (and other goods manufactured on U.S. shores). Similarly, we encourage USTR to get back in the game of advocating on behalf of U.S. companies against market-access barriers and regulations imposed by other governments that unfairly tilt the playing field and disadvantage the U.S. semiconductor industry.

As we tackle the twists and turns of global trade and technology, it’s clear the future of the U.S. semiconductor industry depends not only on domestic investment, but also on smart, strategic international partnerships and smart trade policy that works to open new markets for U.S.-made chips.

SIA looks forward to continuing to work with the U.S. government and other stakeholders to champion fresh ideas. Together, we can pave the way for a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable U.S. semiconductor industry that drives the breathtaking innovations of tomorrow.

[1] https://www.semiconductors.org/the-chips-act-has-already-sparked-200-billion-in-private-investments-for-u-s-semiconductor-production/
[2] Based on NAICS code 334413.