Capitol Commentary - July 08 US PP Newsletter

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Capitol Commentary

Do you know what the presidential candidates think about technology issues? How their views mesh with the needs of the industry? If you are not aware of their views, you’re in good company. Not much attention has been paid to how the candidates view high-tech issues. Which leads to another question: What does our industry care most about in this election? We’ll tell you all that—and more—in this edition of the SEMI U.S. Public Policy Update.

There is a lot at stake in this election. Whichever candidate assumes office in January 2009 will face major challenges: Iraq, the war on terrorism, gas prices and energy policy, spending constraints and more. At the same time, the United States finds itself in stiff competition for technology leadership. Despite wide-ranging support for innovation policies expressed by the White House and Capitol Hill, the tech community has seen mixed results in recent years. We all need to work together to make innovation policies a priority with full funding and concrete results.

SEMI is hard at work promoting tech-friendly policies. In April, we hosted the annual Washington Forum where over 20 senior industry executives met directly with Members of Congress and Administration officials. We are meeting with campaign representatives for the presidential candidates. And we’re continuing our active congressional outreach program.

The SEMI Political Alliance is having a great year – reflecting the importance of this election season and the need to be involved when decisions are made in Washington. This political action committee is funded through personal contributions from industry executives as a way to combine our industry’s resources to support candidates who support the SEMI policy agenda.

So far this year, over 30 industry executives donated to the SEMI Political Alliance—contributing more money than in all of 2007. The PAC has donated almost $20,000 to congressional candidates. This allowed SEMI to attend political events where we can talk directly with Members of Congress about the issues that our industry cares about.

SEMI serves you as the “voice of the industry” in Washington. We are working hard to advance a policy agenda that promotes innovation in the United States and helps our industry compete globally. Members benefit from a strong voice and effective advocacy, just as they do from other SEMI member services, including industry standards, research, statistics, EHS, expositions, executive conferences and other programs. SEMI really does help companies "Compete Smarter."

Maggie Hershey
Sr. Director, Public Policy
SEMI North America
July 9, 2008