E N F O R C E M E N T   AND   C O M P L I A N C E

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What is this Statement and what does it do?

Who benefits from this Statement?

How can this Statement help my company?

Can the U.S. Government help me if I have a problem?

How can I get more information?

What is this Statement and what does it do?

Noting that they have achieved virtually barrier-free trade in semiconductors among themselves, the Parties to this Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors pledge that they will seek a world environment free of barriers to trade and investment. The Parties are all signatories of the Information Technology Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which entered into force in March of 1997 and which provides for the elimination of all import duties on semiconductors and certain other information technology products.

The Parties hold regular meetings with industry representatives and among themselves to discuss issues that could affect the global outlook for semiconductor production and trade. They endorse policies -- including the protection of intellectual property, positive approaches to basic scientific research and the promotion of appropriate regulatory policies -- aimed at expanding global demand for semiconductors.

The original Parties to this Statement were the United States, Japan, Korea and the European Commission. Chinese Taipei has subsequently become a Party.

The Statement was announced at a meeting in Brussels on June 10, 1999, and issued on August 2, 1999, when a 1996 Joint Statement on Semiconductors by the United States and Japan expired.

When a new Joint Statement was signed on September 26th 2006, China and Chinese Taipei were accepted as associate members. The most recent Joint Statement was signed on September 29th, 2011.

Who benefits from this Statement?

Any manufacturer of semiconductors in the United States or one of the other Parties can benefit from the mutual understanding and cooperation that is fostered by this Joint Statement.

How can this Statement help my company?

The following principles are set forth in the Joint Statement:

trade in semiconductors should be barrier-free worldwide;

the principal determinant of industrial success and international trade should be the competitiveness of companies and their products, not government intervention;

government measures should be fully consistent with the letter and spirit of WTO Agreements, particularly with regard to non-discrimination;

injurious dumping should be avoided through fair and effective implementation of the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement.

The Statement provides that representatives of the signatory governments and of the European Commission meet at least once a year with the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) (offsite link) to discuss global challenges facing the semiconductor industry. The WSC's current members are the five semiconductor industry associations of the Parties to the Joint Statement: the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA), the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ), the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA). The basic purpose of the WSC is to expand international cooperation in the semiconductor sector.

The issues of current concern to the WSC, as described in the Joint Statement, are standardization, the environment, worker health and safety, intellectual property rights, trade and investment liberalization, and worldwide market development.

After their annual meeting with the WSC representatives, the Parties to the Joint Statement meet among themselves to discuss industry recommendations and consider appropriate government policies and actions.

Can the U.S. Government help me if I have a problem?

Yes. If your company is experiencing difficulties exporting semiconductors to Japan, Korea, Taiwan or a member state of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), and you believe that the government of the country concerned is not complying with the principles of this Joint Statement, contact the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance's hotline at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Center can alert the appropriate U.S. Government officials to help you resolve your problem. With your concurrence, the U.S. Government can, if appropriate, raise the particular facts of your situation with officials of the other government.

How can I get more information?

The complete text of the Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors is available on the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance's web site.

If you have questions about this Statement or how it could help you, you can e-mail the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC), which will forward your message to the Commerce Department's Designated Monitoring Officer for the Statement. You can also contact the Designated Monitoring Officer at the following address:

Designated Monitoring Officer -

Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors

Office of Technology and E-Commerce
Manufacturing and Services

U.S. Department of Commerce

14th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20230

Tel: (202)-482-2846

Fax: (202)-482-5522

The Designated Monitoring Officer can also provide you with useful trade leads and contacts.

You can visit the web site of the World Semiconductor Council (offsite link) for more information about the objectives and activities of that organization.

You can also visit the following Internet sites at the U.S. Department of Commerce to obtain additional information:

The Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce Home Page

These offices sponsor a wide variety of cost-effective, trade-promotional events throughout the year that are specifically tailored for companies seeking to begin exporting their lines of information technology products or to expand their exports. These offices can provide you not only with up-to-date market intelligence information, but also with overseas contacts to help you make the most of your company's export initiatives.

TANC offers these agreements electronically as a public service for general reference. Every effort has been made to ensure that the text presented is complete and accurate. However, copies needed for legal purposes should be obtained from official archives maintained by the appropriate agency.