House Closing in on Decisive Vote on Trade Promotion Authority
Thursday, Jun 11, 2015, 3:00pm
by John Neuffer, President and CEO
With much at stake for the semiconductor industry, the U.S. economy, and our country’s standing in the world, the House of Representatives looks poised to vote this week on bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. SIA has long advocated for TPA and yesterday joined a coalition of technology leaders asking the House to swiftly approve it. In April, the SIA Board of Directors sent a letter to congressional leaders expressing support for the legislation and urging its quick passage.
TPA makes it easier for U.S. negotiators to strike deals on free trade agreements because it provides the necessary assurance that an agreed-to deal will receive a simple up-or-down vote from Congress, which in turn means swifter and more productive negotiations with our trading partners.
House passage of TPA is a very big deal for the U.S. semiconductor industry, which relies on free trade as much or more than any other sector. U.S. semiconductor companies accounted for more than half of the world’s chip sales in 2014, and 82 percent of those sales were to overseas customers. In addition to the need to reach those customers, our companies also depend on a global network of suppliers of semiconductor equipment, materials, and R&D. In short, our industry’s ability to do business – and the resulting economic growth, job creation, and innovation that we provide – are made possible by free and open access to international markets.
House members should do what’s right for our industry, for our economy, and for America and pass TPA … this week.