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Chip trade body welcomes Red China, US accord

Because its members will be able to sell more chips

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The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said today that it welcomed talks between the US government and Red China which could result in the communist country becoming a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). SIA president George Scalise said: "Our industry would very much like to see China join the WTO when a commercially viable agreement is reached. Such an agreement should increase US exports and help expand China's market for American semiconductor companies. The SIA thinks communist country China will become one of the biggest chip markets in the world. Current value of the market is around eight billion US dollars, the SIA estimates. Tariffs on chips were 20 per cent in 1995 but have now dropped to between six and 10 per cent. Said Scalise: "Continued liberalization of Chinese trade and investment rules wouldfurther permit growth in the Chinese market for semiconductors, to the mutual benefit of U.S. semiconductor producers and the Chinese information technology industry. We highly commend the Administration's efforts and progress and strongly support China's WTO accession on commercially viable terms. While there are still issues to solve, we do believe that this is an important step." Taiwan might think differently. Red China continues at regular periods to rattle its sabre at the island, although it is not in its financial interests to invade. Red China does not have a good record on human rights but the US thinks its market is far too big to ignore for these considerations to count that much. ®

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