SIA Weighs in on Potential Outbound Investment Regime

Tuesday, Oct 10, 2023, 10:30am

by Matthew Wayland, Global Policy Associate

SIA has long supported policies that safeguard national security without unduly harming commercial innovation, manufacturing, employment, and continued American leadership in critical technologies. Consistent with this stance, SIA recently submitted detailed public comments in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published on Aug. 13 by the Department of the Treasury regarding the development and implementation of an outbound investment program.

On Aug. 9, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing the Treasury Department to issue regulations identifying categories of transactions involving technologies and products in countries of concern that may pose a threat to national security. SIA commends the Treasury Department for seeking industry input over the past several months and framing the ANPRM as questions for stakeholder consultation. As the success of the U.S. semiconductor industry is in our national security interest, it is critical any outbound investment program is appropriately scoped and clearly defined. Our comments make the following recommendations:

  • The Treasury Department should seek to harmonize outbound investment restrictions with existing rules impacting the semiconductor industry, including the Oct. 7 export controls, the “guardrails” provisions in the CHIPS Act, and dual-use items that have been identified by the Wassenaar Arrangement members. This will promote clarity and increase predictability for U.S. industry.
  • While some allied countries have their own outbound screening mechanisms, most major semiconductor producing regions have not implemented similar regimes. We are concerned this will result in an uneven playing field for U.S. companies and erode our global competitiveness. We urge the Administration to work with allies and partners to make these rules plurilateral.
  • Ongoing support of existing U.S. subsidiaries in a country of concern must be included within the category of “excepted transactions” to ensure business continuity and avoid supply chain disruptions. This exception should expressly apply to capital expenditures for equipment ramp-up, tool upgrades for existing semiconductor facilities, and the purchase of raw materials.

SIA appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments and will continue to promote industry engagement with the government during the rulemaking process.