Global Semiconductor Industry Ask Nations to Prioritize Semiconductor Manufacturing Operations During COVID-19

As government authorities create public health measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, including mandatory business closures, the global semiconductor industry is calling on all governments to specify the semiconductor industry operations as “essential infrastructure” and/or “essential business” to allow continuity in operations of an industry that powers our global digital infrastructure and underpins vital sectors of the economy.

The statement’s signatories – including the Semiconductor Industry Associations in China, Chinese Taipei, EU, Japan, Korea, U.S., and Singapore, as well as industry groups representing the semiconductor and electronics industries in Malaysia and the Philippines – are calling on governments to make the semiconductor and supply chain operations as “essential infrastructure” and/or “essential business” to ensure their continuity of operations in the face of government lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, or other restrictions on the movement of people.

Semiconductors are key components of the technologies that control and enable essential infrastructure and life-critical equipment such as health care and medical devices, water systems and the energy grid, transportation and communication networks, and the financial system. Semiconductors also underpin the IT systems that enable remote or on-line work, education, and shopping for essential supplies, as well as access to services across every domain, including medicine, finance, education, government, food distribution and more. Semiconductor and related supply chains will be necessary to support the greater range of services that will be digitized in the coming weeks and months in order to keep the global economy productive and to accelerate the recovery.

As the semiconductor supply chain is highly integrated and globalized, semiconductor shortages created by operating restrictions in one region cannot be readily made up by production in other regions. Such shortages lead to line-down situations at electronics factories downstream, and have a ripple effect in our digital economy. The associations therefore call on all global governments at all levels – central, states/provinces, and localities – to prioritize continued operations for their domestic semiconductor companies and their suppliers by defining the semiconductor industry, its R&D and manufacturing operations and its supply chain as “essential infrastructure” and/or “essential business.”

The semiconductor industry is committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure its essential workers remain healthy and safe and to use its critical technologies to assist in the effort to battle the global pandemic.

Click here to read the full statement.

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