SIA Files Comments on “Emerging” Technologies

Thursday, Jan 10, 2019, 10:00am

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

SIA today filed comments to the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in response to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking of controls for “emerging” technologies. In accordance with requirements of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA), enacted into law as part of the defense authorization bill, BIS is required to establish export controls on certain “emerging and foundational technologies.” The SIA comments respond to the request for comments on “emerging” technologies, and we expect BIS to commence a separate rulemaking on “foundational” technologies sometime this year.

Maintaining a strong U.S. semiconductor industry is critical to our country’s economic and national security. Semiconductors are America’s fourth-largest export, and the semiconductor industry has a highly complex, specialized, and geographically widespread global supply chain. For these reasons, it is important for government and industry to work together to ensure U.S. export control policies both enhance our national security and continue to allow the U.S. semiconductor industry to grow and innovate. SIA has long collaborated with the U.S. government to support reforms and modernization of export control policy, particularly with respect to semiconductors.

The SIA comments outline the statutory framework set forth in ECRA and call on BIS to carefully consider each of the factors set forth in the statute in crafting narrowly tailored controls on emerging technologies. Among other things, ECRA calls on BIS to consider controls only on technologies essential to national security, whether these technologies are exclusive to the U.S. or are available from foreign sources, and the effectiveness of proposed controls. It also directs BIS to consider the impact of unilateral controls on specified technologies on domestic research and development and the economy as a whole. SIA’s comments provide detailed recommendations on how BIS can best implement these statutory mandates.

We are confident BIS, by following the statutory criteria set forth in ECRA and considering the input of affected stakeholders, will enhance national security while at the same time enabling the semiconductor industry in the U.S. to grow and innovate.