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On June 10, 1999, the United States, Japan, Korea, and the European Commission announced a multilateral Joint Statement on Semiconductors designed to ensure fair and open global trade in semiconductors.

The Joint Statement, which established the Government/Authorities Meeting on Semiconductors (GAMS), aims to promote the growth of the global semiconductor market through improved mutual understanding between industries and governments and cooperative efforts to respond to challenges facing the semiconductor industry.

Chinese Taipei and China subsequently endorsed the objectives of the Joint Statement and became the Agreement's fifth and sixth parties. All major semiconductor producers are now parties to the Joint Statement.

The Joint Statement is reviewed every five years, and was last updated in 2006.

The Joint Statement provides for industry to make reports and recommendations to governments on policies that may affect the future outlook and competitive conditions within the global semiconductor industry through a CEO-level World Semiconductor Council (WSC).

Topics under discussion by the WSC include cooperation on global issues such as standardization, environmental concerns, worker health and safety, intellectual property rights, trade and investment liberalization, and worldwide market development.

National/regional industry associations may become members of the WSC only if their governments have eliminated semiconductor tariffs or committed to eliminate these tariffs expeditiously.

The Joint Statement also calls for the parties to hold a GAMS meeting at least once a year to receive and discuss the WSC recommendations.

Implementation of the landmark 2006 GAMS agreement to reduce to zero the duties on multichip integrated circuits (also known as "multi-chip packages" or "MCPs") continued to be a priority for the GAMS parties. Efforts remain active to secure the participation of China and other non-GAMS producers as well as users of MCPs in the agreement.

In the area of intellectual property rights, GAMS parties are working to increase international cooperation to combat semiconductor counterfeiting.

Related agreements:

Agreement on Duty-Free Treatment of Multi-Chip Integrated Circuits (MCPs)

Related documents:

Factsheet on MCP Agreement
Press Release on MCP Agreement
Joint Statement of The 12th Meeting of The World Semiconductor Council (Taipei) May 22, 2008
GAMS Joint Statement (September 2006)