Two Major Victories Cap a Busy Year
SEMI accomplished two major public policy priorities during 2008— an eight-year extension of the solar energy investment tax credit (ITC) and a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit. These were significant wins that came through at the last minute with Congress including both items in the financial rescue package approved immediately before they left Washington to campaign for the 2008 election.
The ITC extension was a major victory for SEMI members involved in photovoltaics as the solar ITC was set to expire at the end of the year. The R&D tax credit— a key SEMI priority for many years— had been expired since December 31, 2007. The passage applied the R&D tax credit retroactively so that it is available for the time since it lapsed through December 31, 2009. SEMI worked hard to help secure these extensions through lobby visits, congressional testimony and other outreach. We thank the Members of Congress who supported these critical incentives that will help create new jobs in the United States and spur economic growth.
These achievements cap a busy year for SEMI.
2008 U.S. Public Policy Highlights
- February: We started the year with a major development— President Bush requested full funding for the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP) for the first time. The Focus Centers support research at 35 U.S. universities to address challenges to continued semiconductor advancement with the cost split between government and industry.
- March: Over 175 people attended the sold out 4th annual China Customs and Export Control seminar, “The Four Pillars of Global Compliance for Chinese Importers and Exporters.” Attendees heard from government and business experts about the current policy and regulatory environment in China and the United States, risk management, trade compliance, and Chinese customs compliance issues.
- April: SEMI issued the Intellectual Property White Paper with a detailed study of the IP challenges facing the equipment and materials industry. This paper includes recommendations for governments, customers, member companies, and others. It has been shared with many parties around the world. http://www.semi.org/en/cms/groups/public/documents/web_content/p043701.pdf
- Summer: Throughout the year, SEMI reached out to the Presidential campaigns. In July, SEMI formally submitted recommendations for policy priorities to the campaigns.
- September: Leo Berlinghieri testified before the House Small Business Committee regarding tax policies that affect small companies. Mr. Berlinghieri is the CEO and President of MKS Instruments and the Vice Chairman of the SEMI North America Advisory Board. He urged Congress to extend both the R&D tax credit and the solar energy investment tax credit before adjourning for the year. His testimony is available on YouTube!
- September: SEMI received a special invitation to present the findings of the IP White Paper to the World Semiconductor Council’s IP Task Force. The group is comprised of the associations representing semiconductor device makers and their member companies in China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States. This presented a great opportunity to further the discussion on the importance of IP protection throughout the supply chain.
- October: Congress extends the R&D tax credit through 2009 and the solar energy investment tax credit through 2016.
- November: Election Day finally arrives after 21 months! SEMI immediately begins preparing input for President-elect Obama’s transition team.
- December: The SEMI Political Alliance, the industry’s political action committee, was very active during this historic election year. To finish 2008, the PAC raised over $24,000 from almost 40 industry executives. The SEMI PAC contributed over $25,000 to 17 Congressional campaigns and attended 25 fundraising events. SEMI thanks our 2008 contributors:
For more information on U.S. public policy, please contact Ken Schramko at email@example.com.
December 8, 2008