Mountain View, CA--March 26, 1997--Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI; Mountain View, CA) praised Clinton Administration trade negotiators for reaching a final accord on implementing tariff cuts under the recently concluded Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and for expanding the accord to include many important new trading partners in Asia and Latin America.
The ITA, an agreement reached by the U.S. with its major trading partners last December at the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Singapore, called for ending all tariffs on information technology products by the year 2000. Semiconductor manufacturing equipment, related parts, and silicon are all included in the new ITA product list for duty-free treatment.
The ITA's membership has expanded to include Asian-Pacific countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, which constitute important markets for SEMI members. In addition to expanded country participation, the USTR stated that the tariff cuts will be phased in quickly, with all products with tariffs at 3 percent or below reduced to zero by July 1 of this year, and the rest reduced in four equal installments by the year 2000.
Success of the ITA depends on the adherence of all major trading nations to the trade agreement and the staging of tariff cuts. Therefore, SEMI believes that the details released today by President Clinton's chief trade negotiator, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, are extremely favorable and indicate concrete trade liberalization gains for the semiconductor equipment and materials industry. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) stated that 39 countries have indicated acceptance of the ITA, accounting for more than 90 percent of all trade in information technology products.
Mountain View, CA
Return to Headlines