SIA Hosts Roundtable with Southeast Asian Trade Ministers

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013, 5:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association hosted a roundtable discussion with a delegation of Southeast Asian trade ministers on June 11 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The trade ministers represented the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This event provided an excellent opportunity to discuss important semiconductor policy issues related to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), among others. These countries comprise a valuable industry end market for U.S. companies, as well as a key part of the overall semiconductor design and manufacturing supply chain. The ministers were eager to learn about ways to increase high-tech U.S. investment and trade in their region and learn lessons on how Silicon Valley was created and has grown as a global high-tech hub. SIA member representatives conveyed the importance of adopting key policies that could lead to such increased trade and investment. In addition, the ASEAN trade ministers were eager to share their plans for further ASEAN economic integration, which SIA applauds. Overall, it was a highly productive and worthwhile event.

The roundtable event was part of a broader week-long visit by the trade ministers to the United States, known as the ASEAN Economic Ministers “Roadshow.” The delegation was hosted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and U.S. Department of Commerce. Besides a visit to Silicon Valley, the Roadshow also made stops in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. 

The U.S. semiconductor industry is no stranger to ASEAN, with many of our member companies having a footprint in the region since the 1970s, and with virtually all our member companies currently having some type of presence today. In terms of trade, the numbers speak for themselves: in 2012 ASEAN countries together were the United States’ number one largest semiconductor export market, accounting for over $8 billion in U.S. semiconductor exports, representing an astounding one-third of all U.S. semiconductor exports. Four ASEAN countries – Malaysia (2), Philippines (4), Singapore (11), and Vietnam (15) – rank in the top 15 of all U.S. semiconductor export destinations. In addition, semiconductors are the number one U.S. export product to ASEAN, accounting for almost 12 percent of all U.S. exports to ASEAN in 2012. These semiconductor exports support many thousands of well-paying jobs in local companies, both large and small, throughout the United States and ASEAN.