Annual semiconductor sales globally total about $300 billion, and about 250,000 people are employed in the industry in the U.S. Semiconductors have a major effect on many other industries like manufacturing, electronics, automobiles, and IT.
To maintain leadership in semiconductors, the U.S. government needs strong trade policies, tax reform, and high-skilled immigration reform, and those issues may be addressed after the upcoming election, said John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association.
The government could also help push standards developed in the U.S. to other parts of the world, said David George, senior manager for wireless technologies at General Motors. That could reduce the cost of making products and help the U.S. be ahead on the innovation curve.
To meet the challenges from China, the U.S. should double down on research in universities, added Ted Dean, assistant secretary of commerce, industry, and analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
During her speech, Pritzker said the U.S. government is an enabler for U.S. competitiveness and innovation in semiconductors, not a "driver" like the Chinese government.
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