SAN JOSE--The U.S.-based Semiconductor Industry Association here today praised a bipartisan compromise in the Senate that will allow work to continue on setting up Trade Promotion Authority under the U.S. Administration.
The SIA said passage of legislation for Trade Promotion Authority will give the Administration the ability to negotiate new agreements to open up foreign markets for U.S. semiconductors and other high-technology exports. The compromise bill is expected to be taken up by the full U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
With semiconductor sales in Asia growing more than twice as fast as in the United States, the SIA is pressing for greater access to those hot markets. "American semiconductor companies derive more than 50% of their revenues from overseas sales, and are dependent on having access to fair and competitive markets. Where we can compete fairly, we can win," said George Scalise, president of the SIA.
In the last monthly billings report from the SIA, semiconductor sales grew the strongest in the Asia Pacific region, up 9.7% in March to $3.76 billion in March from $3.76 billion in February (see May 2 story).
"Many of our foreign competitors -- including Europe and Japan -- have concluded free trade agreements with a number of key markets while the U.S. has waited on the sidelines," he complained. "TPA will let the Administration negotiate deals to put American companies on the same competitive footing."
The Trade Promotion Authority will help U.S. negotiations in the new round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks, said the San Jose-based trade group. The trade authority will allow the Administration to negotiate trade pacts with just an "up-or-down" vote in Congress without amendments. The legislation will require the Administration to engage in extensive discussions with the Congress during trade negotiations.