SIA supports administration intentions to enter free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore

Feb. 3, 2003 – San Jose, CA – The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has declared its full support for free trade with Chile and Singapore, as President Bush notified Congress of his intention to sign bilateral free trade agreements, which contain market access provisions that increase export opportunities for US high-technology firms.

Under Trade Promotion Authority rules, Congress now has 90 days to consider the US-Singapore and US-Chile Free Trade Agreements.

“American chipmakers are successful when they are able to compete on fair terms,” noted SIA President George Scalise. “Consequently, it is vital to our industry to continue to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers through bilateral free trade agreements.”

Overseas sales account for more than 60% of SIA members’ revenues, with the importance of foreign markets expected to grow. In 2001, US exports of high-technology products and services to Chile totaled $865 million, while US high-technology exports to Singapore in 2002 exceeded $5.5 billion.

The US-Chile Free Trade Agreement calls for immediate tariff elimination on computers and other IT products. Through the agreement, Chile commits to liberalization of its telecommunications and computer services sectors. The agreement also contains key sections on government procurement, IP, and e-commerce.

Singapore has removed tariffs on IT products as a signatory to the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement. The US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement secures further market access in services, specifically telecommunications and computer-related services. The e-commerce provisions remove duties from electronically delivered products and services. In the agreement, Singapore commits to uphold protections for US investments and IP rights.

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