SEMI supports Trade Priorities and Accountability Act

April 17, 2015

The semiconductor equipment and materials industries yesterday applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation to modernize and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 would help open the door to new markets for U.S. goods, boost economic growth for U.S. companies, and support well-paying U.S. jobs. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) came together with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to introduce this bill in both houses of Congress.

“TPA is a critical tool for moving the U.S. trade agenda forward,” said SEMI CEO Denny McGuirk. “U.S. equipment and materials companies of all sizes should be encouraged by this legislation as a means of expanding relationships with their global customer base. As an industry that exports 80% of our products overseas, we commend Senators Hatch and Wyden and Congressman Ryan for their efforts in crafting a bipartisan bill, and we strongly encourage Congress and the President to work together to enact it as soon as possible.”

The legislation introduced yesterday, SEMI said, is more important than ever as the U.S. actively pursues significant trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as well as agreements on environmental and IT-specific items.

As introduced, the bill would define U.S. negotiating objectives for these trade agreements and establish consultation and notification requirements for the President to follow throughout the negotiation process. Once trade negotiators finalize a deal, Congress would have the chance to review it and then cast and up or down vote, without amendments. Congress has granted TPA to every president since 1974, with the most recent law being approved in August 2002 and expiring June 30, 2007. SEMI has been a vocal supporter of TPA renewal in the context of the greater U.S. trade agenda and will continue to advocate for consideration of this legislation by the full Congress.

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