USMCA Deal a Victory for High-Tech Trade

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019, 10:22am

by John Neuffer, President and CEO

The White House and House Democrats today reached a deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), paving the way for congressional passage of the North American trade pact. SIA welcomes today’s agreement and urges swift ratification of the USMCA.

The USMCA is a big win for free trade and America’s global technology leadership. The agreement will remove market barriers, protect IP, and strengthen the digital economy and global semiconductor supply chain.

Free, fair, and open access to global markets is vital to the success of the U.S. semiconductor industry, America’s fourth-largest export industry and a critical driver of the nation’s economy and technological leadership. With the industry facing increasing discriminatory and market-distorting industrial policies around the world, the USMCA provides a critical opportunity to strengthen U.S. trade leadership by establishing new and higher-standard digital and high-tech trade disciplines.

The USMCA incorporates several top U.S. semiconductor industry priorities, including new disciplines to ensure market access for innovative encryption products, increased safeguards and penalties to protect trade secrets, new rules to ensure state-owned enterprises compete fairly and transparently, and prohibition of forced transfer of source code.

Canada and Mexico represent strong trading partners in semiconductors and are also critical players in the semiconductor supply chain. The U.S. has strong semiconductor trade surpluses with both Mexico and Canada at $6.77 billion and $1 billion, respectively.

SIA applauds policymakers for striking a deal to move USMCA forward and urges Congress to ratify the agreement in short order.