Here's an overview of policy areas the SIA is pursuing right now:
Corporate tax reform
Toohey said one area that likely will see movement is some reform in
corporate taxes, where the current system, according to the SIA, creates
an uncompetitive climate for U.S. semiconductor companies.
"There are disagreements on elements but there's broad alignment among
the White House, Treasury, and House and Senate Leadership on what the
basic structure of tax reform should look like. For our industry,
international tax reform is critical and we hope that all sides will
look beyond the campaign rhetoric on this issue and put in place a
competitive territorial-based system," Toohey said.
"It's part of the larger immigration debate which is deadlocked," Toohey
said. "There was a House vote on high-skilled immigration reform before
Congress adjourned for the election that demonstrated increased
bipartisan support for this issue, and we are working to have it taken
up again in the lame duck session. We remain hopeful that a compromise
can be reached," he added.
"Many of our companies are impacted by our outdated export control
regime," Toohey said, adding the SIA is calling for a simplification of
some of the controls. For example, there are certain criteria revolving
around radiation-hardened ICs that can result in the devices being
categorized as munitions, which could prevent them from being exported
to key markets such as China.
"The Obama Administration is methodically working through an overhaul of
export controls. We feel good about the direction," Toohey said.
The Defense Department's recent procurement mandate that certain types
of semiconductors include an anti-counterfeiting DNA marker is "not well
thought out" and needs re-assessment, Toohey said. "It sounds like a
very good idea, but there may be alternative solutions that produce
better results for all parties. The industry stands ready to help guide
this process moving forward."
I spoke with Toohey just as his organization was releasing the first of
what will be several reports about the robust health of semiconductor
employment in the United States and its impact on the overall economy.
--Chip sector adding jobs faster than overall U.S. economy
--Chip sales flat in August