by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy
Today, 10 industry associations, representing hundreds of semiconductor and semiconductor supply chain companies, issued a statement calling on nations to prioritize semiconductor operations as they craft public health measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement is consistent with the semiconductor industry’s core priorities in response to this global health crisis: ensuring the health and safety of its workers, contributing to the effort to combat the virus, and sustaining the continuity of the critical systems and technologies that underpin modern society.
The statement’s signatories – including the Semiconductor Industry Associations in China, Chinese Taipei, EU, Japan, Korea, U.S., and Singapore, as well as industry groups representing the semiconductor and electronics industries in Malaysia and the Philippines – call on governments to specify semiconductor and supply chain operations as “essential infrastructure” and/or “essential business” to ensure continuity of operations in the face of government lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, or other restrictions on the movement of people.
The statement highlights the essential nature of semiconductors as key components of the technologies that control and enable essential infrastructure and life-critical equipment such as health care and medical devices, water systems and the energy grid, transportation and communication networks, and the financial system.
The statement also notes that because of the highly integrated and global nature of the semiconductor supply chain, shortages created by operating restrictions in one region cannot be readily made up by production in other regions. Such shortages lead to line-down situations at electronics factories downstream, and have a ripple effect in our digital economy.
We look forward to continuing to work with governments around the world to combat COVID-19 and to ensure the semiconductor industry remains a valuable contributor in maintaining continuity of critical infrastructure and operations during this global health crisis.
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