Election 2008: SEMI Position Statement
The presidential and congressional campaign season offers a great opportunity to spread the word about the policies needed to support the semiconductor equipment and materials industry and other emerging technology industries (like photovoltaic). Influence is easier to wield and candidates are more receptive now than when offices are secured and agendas are fully brokered with various interest groups. That's why campaign season is a critical time for our industry.
What is it that we want? SEMI urges the new Congress and Administration to make innovation a priority with concrete results and full funding. Policymakers talk about the need to promote American competitiveness, but too little gets done. Our industry needs a lot of work done in four key areas: technology, tax, talent, and trade.
Technology: Federal investments in R&D today are imperative for tomorrow’s innovations. The new Administration, with the help of Congress, must commit to doubling the budgets for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Standards and Technology.
Tax: Incentives through tax policy encourage R&D and manufacturing in the United States. The R&D tax credit must be renewed, strengthened and made permanent. Credits for alternative energies such as solar power must be extended.
Talent: We must do more to promote science and math education for U.S. students. We want to enable our students to contribute to U.S. innovation and compete in the global marketplace. The U.S. needs to continue to be a beacon for the best and the brightest students from around the world—and we need to ensure that they can remain here to contribute to our economy. We support reform of our H1B visa system and a streamlined path to citizenship for people with advanced degrees.
Trade: Our industry is a strong global player with the majority of its sales now dependent on export markets. Our future is dependent on U.S. government efforts to encourage free trade and to eliminate barriers in overseas markets. We also support reform of U.S. export control policies to ensure they are backed by a multilateral consensus of our allies and focused narrowly on the military’s most critical products.
July 9, 2008