SEMI on July 31 announced its support for calls by nearly 50 members of Congress for the Trump Administration to remove tariffs on semiconductor products imported from China. Yesterday’s calls came in the form of a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the government body charged with issuing the tariffs.
The letter, signed by a bipartisan group of Members of the House of Representatives led by Reps. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the House co-chairs of the Congressional Semiconductor Caucus, stressed the importance of semiconductors in the modern economy. It argues that the duties will do nothing to address U.S. concerns over China’s trade practices, although the writers agree with the USTR’s goal of bringing about policy changes in China.
“We call on the Administration to explore more effective and targeted policies, such as penalties for state-actors engaging in IP theft, WTO cases, and strengthened multilateral action with our allies to address the transfer of sensitive technology,” the letter states.
SEMI said it believes that the proposed tariffs will ultimately reduce semiconductor-related exports, limit technology innovation, introduce significant uncertainty in the semiconductor supply chain, and cost U.S. companies an estimated more than $500 million annually. The tariffs also threaten to raise prices of semiconductor products and put thousands of high-paying and high skill jobs at risk, the organization said. Last week, SEMI testified before a U.S. government interagency panel weighing the merits of the tariffs, urging the Trump administration to eliminate tariffs on semiconductor products.