Advanced Manufacturing in the U.S.— Worth Fighting For

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Advanced Manufacturing in the U.S.— Worth Fighting For

By Jonathan Davis, President, SEMI North America

Welcome to the first North American edition of the SEMI Global Update. In the past, we provided one newsletter for the world, but our readers have asked for more targeted information geared to their regions and interests. This new edition will feature the same attention to market, technology, standards and other information that you typically found in the Global Update. It also includes important information on public policy and events in the U.S.

These are critical times for our industry, especially in the United States. Increasingly, advanced semiconductor manufacturing is moving to Asia— taking business, jobs and opportunities with it. While Intel has announced $7 billion over the next two years to support 32 nm manufacturing at three U.S. sites and AMD is planning to enter a new era as foundry manufacturer, the overall trend towards Asia is unmistakable. The current economic crisis may accelerate this trend.

We believe that semiconductor and other manufacturing operations in the U.S. are worth fighting for. While we are part of a global industry—one that is facing a horrific global economic crisis— the health of the U.S.-based supply chain requires a robust U.S. customer base, supported by sound local, state and federal policies. We fight for our members in all regions of the world, and a sound and supportive environment for manufacturing and technology in the U.S. is good for the entire world. We are not fighting against the industry or governments in Asia for a zero-sum share of a finite manufacturing business; we are fighting for our members wherever they do business, for innovation wherever it can grow, and fairness wherever it’s required.

The industries we serve have never been more interconnected (dare we say dependent) with the actions of legislators, from Washington, D.C. to Sacramento; from Albany to Austin. Governments in Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea, and even Russia are actively supporting their high-tech manufacturing. The solar industry is also increasingly fast-tracked by feed-in tariffs and other policies that aim to jump start regional industries that may be around for the next 30 years. Sound economic development and national security requirements compel the U.S. to be smart, wise, effective, and aggressive in creating a sound economic environment for chip, solar and other advanced manufacturing operations.

SEMI is actively working to protect and grow our members’ interests in North America. The recent economic stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress contains a number of provisions that we worked very hard to influence (see article). We were guided in these efforts by your North American Regional Advisory Board. Additional opportunities to serve our members and support the U.S. high-tech ecosystem will present themselves during this legislative session, including upcoming battles on the budget and immigration reforms.

We need your advice, council and support for these efforts. The current economic crisis will sometime pass. Global demand for the smart and sophisticated products that improve our lives will grow again. These products would not be possible without SEMI members. High technology products should always be manufactured in North America— and that is what we are fighting for.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or input you may have.

Wishing you better times, soon.

Jonathan Davis


SEMI North America

March 4, 2009