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May 21-22, 2014
World Semiconductor Council - Chinese Taipei
September 10-11, 2014
SIA Board of Directors Meeting - Washington, D.C.
October 16, 2014
Governments and Authorities Meeting on Semiconductors (GAMS) - Fukuoka, Japan
November 6-7, 2014
SIA Board of Directors Meeting and Award Dinner - San Jose, Calif.
>> VIEW ALL EVENTS
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The SIA Board of Directors concluded a highly productive meeting in Washington on Thursday, Sept. 11. During the meeting, the Board reviewed the current state of play in Washington. Although Congress has adjourned until after the November elections, the industry has the opportunity to make some progress on a number of priorities that do not require legislation, such as trade, export controls, chemicals and materials regulation, and other regulatory matters. The Board also engaged in a fruitful discussion about market access in China, which is one of the most significant challenges facing the industry. Board members received briefings from experts on the issue and met with high-level administration officials to ensure proper government awareness and engagement.
The next meeting of the Board of Directors will coincide with the annual SIA Award Dinner, which takes place on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Fairmont San Jose. The SIA Award Dinner is one of the industry’s preeminent events, providing unmatched opportunities to network and collaborate with colleagues from the leading semiconductor manufacturers and designers, suppliers, and service providers. The evening will culminate with the presentation of the semiconductor industry’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award, which is presented annually in recognition of an individual’s outstanding achievement and leadership in support of the U.S. semiconductor industry.
We hope you can join us on Nov. 13 to honor the 2014 Noyce Award winner and celebrate the past, present and future of the U.S. semiconductor industry. For information on attendance and sponsorships, please contact Caroline Kazmierski at email@example.com or 202-446-1711.
OECD Releases Proposed Rules to Address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
On Sept. 16, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a set of new proposed international tax rules to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). The OECD released three reports and four proposed instruments related to tax treaties and transfer pricing. The draft proposals have been agreed to by all G20 members and OECD members, which include most major industrialized countries. The measures form part of a larger BEPS program that will conclude next year, after which countries will look at enshrining the results of the program in national laws. SIA and the Tax Committee are analyzing the recent proposals and will conduct a conference call with tax directors from the European SIA to share insights and explore potential areas of cooperation, including through the World Semiconductor Council (WSC).
Treasury Department Takes Steps to Address Corporate Tax Inversions
On Sept. 22, the U.S. Treasury Department released what it called “First Steps to Reduce Tax Benefits of Corporate Inversions,” applicable to transactions closing on or after Sept. 22, 2014. The measures include efforts to prevent inverting companies from accessing a foreign subsidiary’s earnings while deferring U.S. tax through “hopscotch” loans, preventing inverted companies from restructuring a foreign subsidiary to access that subsidiary’s earning without incurring U.S. tax, preventing inverted companies from transferring cash or property from a subsidiary to the new parent company to avoid U.S. tax, and making it more difficult for U.S. entities to invert by strengthening the requirement that the former owners of the U.S. entity own less than 80 percent of the combined new entity. >> Read more
Semiconductor Issues Elevated in U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) Dialogue
Over the past two weeks, SIA staff and member company representatives have met with Craig Allen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia at the Department of Commerce, to discuss semiconductor priorities for the 2014 JCCT deliverables. The U.S. government has elevated semiconductor issues as a priority for the JCCT dialogue. SIA will engage closely with the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the lead-up to the 25th JCCT Dialogue to occur in mid-December.
Leading Scholar on China’s Semiconductor Industry Briefs SIA
On Sept. 18, Dr. Dieter Ernst of the East-West Center in Honolulu visited SIA to brief SIA staff, member representatives, government officials, and other industry stakeholders on his latest research project on China's semiconductor industry. In his presentation, Ernst laid out a detailed picture of the state of China's semiconductor industry and market, a description of China's new industry support policies, and analysis of how these new policies may shape China's industry. Dr. Ernst's thought-provoking presentation raised several important research and policy questions, as well as underscored the need for all who are engaged on this issue to dig deeper and get more information and data on the situation. Dr. Ernst said he would send SIA his final research paper once completed.
Encryption in the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)
The 7th Round of Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations will take place in Chevy Chase, Md. from Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2014. SIA will participate in the stakeholder engagement session on Oct. 1 in support of SIA priorities, which include strong commitments to not restrict the import, use or sale of commercial products containing encryption and strong protection of trade secrets. SIA continues to work closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the European Commission, SIA in Europe, and our joint industry coalition partners, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the Alliance for Network Security (ANS) in support of our TTIP encryption priorities.
USITO Submission on China’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Compliance
On Sept. 19, the U.S. Information Technology Office in China (USITO) submitted written comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on its annual review of China’s compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. As in past years, the submission was made under the USITO name on behalf of SIA and USITO’s other parent associations. SIA President & CEO Brian Toohey, along with other association representatives, will testify at USTR’s annual hearing on the issue on Wednesday, Oct. 1.
ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH & SAFETY
Senate Efforts to Reform Chemicals Law Stalled
It appears that efforts to overhaul to the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) have failed for this Congress. On Sept. 16, the staff of Sen. Vitter (R-LA), the ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the lead Republican on the chemicals reform bill, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009), informed SIA that negotiations with Democrats were ongoing and that they were hopeful they would achieve progress in addressing concerns that have been raised to date. On Sept.18, however, Senator Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of Environment and Public Works Committee, released a statement to announce her opposition to the bill, including a detailed critique and a reform counterproposal. Among other things, Sen. Boxer raised concerns with the lack of timetables, the standards for subjecting chemicals to regulation, and federal preemption of state law. In light of the chairman’s opposition, there is little chance that the bill will move forward during the remainder of this Congress.
House Judiciary Committee Approves Trade Secrets Bill
On Wednesday, Sept. 17, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Trade Secrets Protection Act (H.R. 5233). The bill establishes a federal civil cause of action for the theft of trade secrets. Currently, federal law only provides for criminal sanctions, and companies must pursue civil remedies in state courts under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The bill, introduced by Judiciary Committee members Reps. Holding (R-NC) and Nadler (D-NY), and was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of other committee members, including the chair of the Intellectual Property subcommittee, Rep. Coble (R-NC), ranking member of the full committee Rep. Conyers (D-MI), and Reps. Chabot (R-OH), Jeffries (D-NY), Richmond (D-LA), and DelBene (D-WA). The bill is the House counterpart to the legislation pending in the Senate, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), introduced by Sens. Coons (D-DE) and Hatch (R-UT).