On March 15, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Office of Technology Evaluation, issued a notice of request for public comments (notice) seeking information to assist it in preparing a report required by Executive Order 14017, “America’s Supply Chains” (Executive Order), which institutes a formal, whole-of-government strategy to develop more resilient and secure supply chains across the United States and calls for a comprehensive review of domestic production, research and development (R&D) capabilities, and the formulation of strategies to strengthen critical sectors. As Wiley explained in a previous alert, the Executive Order directs various federal agencies to, within 100 days, submit a report to the President identifying the risks in the semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chains, as well policy recommendations to address these risks. The deadline for comments in response to this notice is April 5, 2021.
The report that Commerce ultimately produces in response to the Executive Order has the potential to broadly impact the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. As such, we have provided BIS’s non-exhaustive list of the issues for which it is most interested in hearing comments below:
Once Commerce completes this report, it will then assess whether additional information will be required to satisfy Section 9904 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021’s mandate that the agency similarly produce a report for Congress which (1) assesses the capabilities of the U.S. microelectronics industrial base to support the national defense, in light of the global nature and interdependence of the supply chain with respect to manufacture, design, and end use; and (2) lists critical technology areas impacted by potential disruptions in the production of microelectronics and assesses gaps and vulnerabilities in the microelectronics supply chain.
The report that Commerce will produce has the potential to impact all segments of the semiconductor manufacturing and R&D supply chain. Industry stakeholders should consider leveraging this opportunity to advise the agency of supply chain constraints and recommend policy actions to enhance their competitive positions both domestically and globally. Policy recommendations should entail all relevant areas of economic competition, including global trade restrictions, economic distortions (e.g., subsidies, overcapacity), market access barriers, intellectual property enforcement issues, and export controls. Comments should also focus on trends and advancements in semiconductor technology, economic competition in fabless manufacturing, and comparative advantages in semiconductor fabrication capabilities, processes, and costs.