SIA wants to double chip exports

Yank industry body the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) says it has given the US Department of Commerce a plan describing how to double the country’s chip exports in the next four years.

The semiconductor industry has been America’s main exporter, claims SIA president George Scalise, exporting silicon worth an average $48 billion in sales each year. Regular market growth would only boost exports to $56 billion by 2014, if policies aren’t put in place which will give the grief-stricken industry incentives to invest in R&D. Or, put simply, tax breaks.

The report says the state would be set to profit from chip makers doubling exports by getting tax breaks for R&D. Tax receipts “would lead to about $2 billion in additional Federal personal and corporate tax receipts, not including macroeconomic multiplier effects and before accounting for additional tax incentives” by 2014.

At the same time, the US should also “double the nation’s basic research investment at national laboratories and universities by 2016”, thereby making sure the taxpayer does his part in alleviating painful R&D costs from poor corporations.

Apart from that, “faster and cheaper computing power allows government agencies to fulfill their missions more effectively.” So even if the semiconductor industry gets a tax break, doesn’t pay $2 billion more in taxes by 2014 and there are no macroeconomic multiplier effects, the state will get faster PCs.

After all, “federal, state, and local governments spent $109 billion cumulatively on computers from 1995-2009; however if this computing power was purchased at 1995 prices, the government would have spent $1.2 trillion – effectively the government agencies were able to get over a trillion dollars of computing free.”

Certainly, Moore’s law needs additional incentives.

The report, however laughable some lines might be, does include two rather sensible suggestions. Such as “eliminating encryption controls for widely available semiconductors much as they were already lifted for widely available encryption software; and not subjecting civilian, general purpose semiconductors to U.S. Munitions Controls” so they can be exported easier to Iran.

Also “incentives to adopt other policies to promote energy efficiency and
renewable energy” should be given, while at the same time “those climate change policies that add costs, limit flexibility and otherwise make U.S. companies less competitive” should be avoided.

It also calls for “enhancing the U.S. workforce through education reform”. This is desperately needed, as people on the other side of the Atlantic are very weak when it comes to maths – SIA states sales would double from the average $48 billion “to $76 billion in 2014” if the US government is to adopt its wise policy proposals.

The report titled “Doubling Semiconductor Exports Over the Next Five Years” can be found here.