Help SEMI Eliminate Tariffs

Help SEMI Eliminate Tariffs

By Maggie Hershey, Sr. Director NA Public Policy, SEMI

Are your company’s products subject to tariffs when sold overseas?  Do you pay import duties on parts and components that you purchase?  Let us know by June 10! 

SEMI is working on a global project to eliminate tariffs on semiconductor equipment and materials.  We are part of a group of more than 40 industry associations around the world that have come together to urge governments to launch negotiations to expand the product scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).  

The ITA is a highly successful trade agreement that eliminates tariffs on a wide range of information technology products.  It is credited with lowering costs for manufacturers, increasing trade, and promoting innovation.  The agreement was created in 1996 and now has 70 participants.  In little more than a decade after the ITA was created, trade in information technology products grew from $1.2 trillion to $4.0 trillion.  Because of SEMI’s efforts, a wide range of semiconductor equipment products were included in the original agreement, resulting in significant cost savings for SEMI members and their customers. 

While the world has changed dramatically since 1996, the product scope of the agreement has not.  High tech companies are working now on a “wish list” of additional products that could be added to the ITA.  This input will be provided to governments to push them to begin talks on expanding the ITA’s product coverage. 

SEMI is compiling input from member companies.  To qualify, products must be subject to a tariff in any country and be directly related to semiconductor production rather than of broader industrial use.  The ITA currently does not include materials, but it might be possible to add some types of materials if they are used overwhelming for semiconductor production or other purposes closely related to IT. 

This is a time sensitive project since SEMI has been asked to submit an initial list to the Office of the United States Trade Representative by June 13.  We expect additional opportunities to comment, but encourage you to contact Maggie Hershey at mhershey@semi.org as soon as possible if your company could benefit from this project.

June 7, 2011