SIA wants to attract chip R&D, manufacturing investments to US

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 25, 2012

Once again, President Obama has chosen to highlight the “computer chip”- the semiconductor-as a shining example of American-born and bred ingenuity, advanced manufacturing, success of basic research funding and a lynchpin in the President’s goal of doubling exports.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, said it was reassured by U.S. President Barack Obama's focus and attention to science and engineering education, basic research investments, high-skilled immigration reform, tax reform and fair trade as a balanced approach to addressing the nation’s short and long-term goals in his annual State of the Union address.

“Once again, President Obama has chosen to highlight the “computer chip”- the semiconductor-as a shining example of American-born and bred ingenuity, advanced manufacturing, success of basic research funding and a lynchpin in the President’s goal of doubling exports. Our industry is proud to play a critical part in the economic strength of our nation. But certain policy measures are needed to maintain and grow our critical industry,” said Brian Toohey, president, Semiconductor Industry Association.

The SIA said the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Administration must:

• Strategically investing in  basic research in the physical sciences and improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education
• Ensuring that regulations on advanced manufacturing achieve mutual goals
• Permanently extending a strengthened R&D tax credit and reforming corporate tax policies to ensure a competitive environment to attract semiconductor R&D and manufacturing investments to the U.S.
• Reforming U.S. export controls and streamlining the licensing process
• Ensuring a level playing field for export intensive industries so they are not disadvantaged against foreign competitors, and,
 • Reforming visa policies to retain highly-educated workers for the American workforce.
 
“The semiconductor industry is driving the innovation economy forward, and represents one of the most essential advanced manufacturing and engineering industries in the United States today; this industry will continue to be a cornerstone in the economic growth and advancement that America hopes to achieve in the future.

We are at a critical intersection in the future of our country and in this industry, which is why funding for basic research, efficient and flexible regulations and high-skilled immigration reform are all essential policies that Congress and the Administration should work together on in order to ensure a thriving innovation economy,” Toohey said.

Further, SIA and its member companies are supportive of an increased focus on trade enforcement related to counterfeits and look forward to working with the Administration on this ever-growing problem.  This includes a dual approach of stopping counterfeit semiconductors at the border -- in cooperation with industry -- and supporting intellectual property enforcement actions abroad.

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