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Joint Statement by USTR, U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection

JEJU, KOREA - Today staff from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection concluded the first-ever meeting with customs authorities from all six major semiconductor producing economies to discuss the problems posed by trade in counterfeit semiconductor products. Customs experts from China, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Japan, Korea and the United States convened in Korea before the launch of the annual Governments/Authorities Meeting on Semiconductors (GAMS), with representatives of their respective industries and trade ministry officials. The two-day meeting was an important opportunity for the participants to discuss counterfeiting of semiconductor products.

The worldwide semiconductor industry represents a market valued around $250 billion in 2008. Counterfeiting of semiconductors poses an increasing threat, not only in economic terms for the companies whose products are counterfeited, but also to the operation of critical technologies. Semiconductors are increasingly a core technology used in products ranging from mobile phones and car-braking systems to medical devices and satellites. During the GAMS meeting in September 2008 in Lisbon, officials agreed to convene a meeting of all customs experts in order to step up worldwide efforts against the spread of counterfeit semiconductors.

During this session, customs experts reaffirmed their commitment to protect and enforce intellectual property rights. They shared their experiences and best practices in the fight against counterfeit semiconductors, from both import and export customs control perspectives, and presented options for enforcement actions between GAMS members and increasing cooperation between members and industry.

All participants underlined the importance of having access to information from the semiconductor industry on products and processes to facilitate identification of suspected counterfeit products and agreed to undertake, as appropriate, enforcement measures against semiconductor counterfeiting, to keep other members informed and to report back on their activities to the 2011 GAMS meeting.

BACKGROUND ON GAMS

The Governments/Authorities Meeting on Semiconductors (GAMS) was founded in 1999 and includes governments and authorities from China, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Japan, Korea and the United States. Each year, GAMS members meet with the World Semiconductor Council (WSC), which includes their respective industry associations, to address topics of importance for the global semiconductor industry in areas such as trade, environment, intellectual property and regulatory requirements.