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Dear SEMI members and industry colleagues,
The microelectronics industry entered 2020 with high hopes for how this year would unfold, and universally, we have had to adjust our expectations and plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the most challenging situation I have experienced in my nearly 40 years in the industry. I want to reassure you that SEMI is working diligently to support our members and the industry in this time of crisis and to provide you with an update on resources that we have made available to help you.
SEMI recently published a blog with insights from our webinar on March 26 where our colleagues at McKinsey & Company shared information on the improving situation in China as well as the broader impact of the pandemic on the microelectronics manufacturing and design supply chain. It is an encouraging sign that manufacturing firms in China are restoring normal operations.
In my closing remarks of last month’s webinar, I asked the industry to donate masks, gloves and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to support our overwhelmed healthcare systems. The battle against the virus rages on around the globe, and there remains a pressing need for PPE and donations. I am proud of how generously the microelectronics industry has donated these supplies that, in ordinary times, contribute to the meticulously controlled environments of our industry’s manufacturing facilities, but today can help save lives and shorten the time it will take for a return to our normal living and working situations. I ask companies across the supply chain to please explore how your company can contribute to this effort. You can find donation information on our Coronavirus Resources webpage under the Medical Needs & Supply Matching Sites heading. Additionally, SEMI is highlighting stories on how our members are responding to help in the COVID-19 fight. Please visit our Coronavirus News and Blog webpage and submit your story today.
Based on the keen interest in our initial COVID-19 status webinar, and the rapidly changing dynamics of the situation, SEMI is offering a follow-up webinar with McKinsey & Company entitled The Way Forward from COVID-19 on Thursday, April 23rd from 7:30 to 8:45am Pacific Time. I encourage you to register to get the latest insights on the path to recovery for the industry. Then, on Thursday, April 30th from 8:30am to 10:30am Pacific Time, the SEMI Americas team will host the Virtual Forum Semiconductor Outlook—Navigating through Turbulent Times. This online event will feature an update on semiconductor stocks from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, insights on the market outlook from IHS Markit, and an update on COVID-19’s impact on the industry from VLSI Research. The goal of these events is to help you make more informed business decisions. We look forward to your participation and ask that you submit questions and provide feedback so that the events are relevant and meaningful for you and your business.
COVID-19 Webinar 04.23.2020
We have also added more resources to our SEMI Responds webpage, which lists best practices on company policies, public communications and telecommuting from our Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Information Technology Leadership (ITL) groups. The page now includes member survey insights from our Fab Owners Alliance (FOA) and Electronic Materials Group (EMG) on COVID-19 impacts to those communities, along with steps members are taking to maintain business continuity and ensure that their facilities remain safe. A big thanks to members of these groups for participating and sharing learnings with the industry at large.
Lastly, I want to provide an update on our government advocacy efforts on behalf of SEMI members. Our Global Advocacy team has continued to lobby for the microelectronics industry to be classified as an “essential business” in the United States and for similar designations in other countries. Those efforts included a SEMI Americas request for the government of Mexico to designate the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain an essential business, consistent with U.S. guidelines, to help avoid disruptions to the North American semiconductor industry. SEMI Europe sent 22 letters to officials across the continent, three of them to the European Commission, urging governments to allow continuous operations of the semiconductor industry. SEMI Japan has been closely engaged with the central government and sent letters to many Japanese prefectures stressing the critical importance of continuing operations. Additionally, SEMI continues to push back against unilateral U.S. export controls that will compromise the ability of the U.S. to export semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials, as highlighted in a recent Reuters article.
I am truly proud of how the SEMI team has stepped up around the globe to proactively communicate and support our members with relevant information and best practices related to the pandemic. The outcome of our letters to governments around the globe to seek “essential business” status has generally been very positive.
SEMI advocacy efforts epitomize our overarching approach to the pandemic: We remain squarely focused on supporting our members during these turbulent times while continuing to lay the groundwork for the industry’s prosperity.
President and CEO, SEMI