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Trade Policy Issues January 20, 2018  
1999 Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors

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Background of the Accord:
At an annual government-industry meeting held at DGI headquarters in Brussels on June 10, 1999, the United States, Japan, Korea and the European Commission announced a new multilateral Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors by the Governments of the United States, Japan, Korean and the European Communities and Their Member States.

The multilateral Joint Statement, the successor to the 1996 bilateral U.S.-Japan Joint Statement, includes strong provisions in support of barrier- free trade in global semiconductor markets. Taiwan agreed to lower tariffs on semiconductors, became a member of the industry-only World Semiconductor Council, endorsed the objectives of the Joint Statement and became a party to the agreement.

Under the provisions of the Joint Statement, the United States Department of Commerce and United States Trade Representative review trade policy recommendations from the representatives of the World Semiconductor Council at the annual Government Authorities Meeting on Semiconductors (GAMS). The WSC consists of the following trade associations: Semiconductor Industry Association from the United States (SIA); Korean Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA); Taiwanese Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA); Japanese Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA); the European Semiconductor Industry Association (EISA).

The Statement supports a multilateral approach to meet challenges facing the world semiconductor industry in the twenty-first century. The WSC and the GAMS encourage the growth of free and open global markets and seek to spreading advances in semiconductor technology while achieving even lower costs. The GAMS has addressed: (1) trade and investment liberalization including the removal of tariffs and other market barriers; (2) regulation and taxation; (3) environment, and worker health and safety; (4) standardization; (5) protection of intellectual property rights; (6) scientific research; (7) promotion of the information society, including market research; and (8) e-commerce and the Internet.

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