SIA Blog

Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy

C. Devi Bengfort Keller is director of global policy at SIA. Responsible for managing SIA's international trade and global policy priorities, Devi represents SIA in the World Semiconductor Council, a cooperative global body dedicated to promoting a free, open, and globally competitive trading environment for semiconductor products. Her work also entails promoting U.S. semiconductor industry priorities in domestic legislation and bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, including the WTO Information Technology Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In pursuit of this goal, she works closely with SIA member companies, the U.S. administration, Congress, domestic and international companies and business associations, and foreign government officials. Devi has prior experience working for the high-tech industry, including positions at the Information Technology Industry Council, TechAmerica, and Verizon Government Relations. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Dickinson College, and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the George Washington University. She lived in China for 3.5 years and speaks Mandarin. Devi enjoys traveling, running marathons and ultra-marathons, cooking Indian food, gardening, and reading sci-fi books.

Recent Posts

Tech, Government Leaders Highlight Benefits of Information Technology Agreement

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Jun 7, 2017 4:30:00 PM

SIA President & CEO John Neuffer and other leaders from industry, government and academia participated in a panel discussion this week on the benefits of the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a pioneering trade pact that eliminates tariffs on hundreds of high-tech products, from semiconductors to smart phones. Panelists highlighted the ITA’s key role in spurring productivity, innovation, and economic growth, while promoting prosperity and higher standards of living through increased access and affordability of transformational technologies.

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Topics: trade, ITA

The World Semiconductor Council: 20 Years of Promoting Innovation through Free Trade

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Jun 9, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The world’s leading semiconductor industries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) on May 27 in Seoul, Korea. The WSC grew out of the 1996 U.S.-Japan Agreement on International Cooperation Regarding Semiconductors and today brings together senior executives from six semiconductor-producing regions – China, Chinese Taipei, EU, Japan, Korea, and the U.S. – to promote free and open world trade and to address issues of common concern to chipmakers everywhere. 

Leaders from the six regions at the 20th annual WSC meeting.
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Topics: trade, WSC

Beyond Borders: The Evolution and Importance of the Global Semiconductor Value Chain

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on May 4, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Few industries, if any, feature a value chain as complex, geographically dispersed, and intensely interconnected as that of the semiconductor industry. This highly globalized and interdependent structure has been an amazing success story, benefitting the semiconductor industry, participating countries, and the global economy.

These benefits, as well as the risks of an insular approach to developing a semiconductor capability, will be key topics at a panel discussion hosted by SIA and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) this Friday, May 6, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (REGISTER HERE). Event participants, including SIA President & CEO John Neuffer, will also announce the findings of a new report outlining the evolution and importance of the global semiconductor value chain.

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Topics: trade, TPP

The Semiconductor Seven: SIA’s Top Trade Priorities

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Mar 9, 2016 4:30:00 PM

President Obama released his 2016 Trade Policy Agenda on March 2. This thick document includes a raft of trade priorities for this Administration, including major trade agreements either under negotiation or completed: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).  

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Topics: trade, ITA, TPP

Three Ways the TPP Strengthens the Semiconductor Industry

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Jan 14, 2016 2:00:00 PM

SIA today testified at a hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) about the critical importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the U.S. semiconductor industry and the U.S. economy. Our core message was that trade is vital to the semiconductor industry’s ability to compete, innovate, and grow. SIA highlighted three specific ways the TPP promotes trade and strengthens our industry. 

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Topics: trade, TPP

SIA Welcomes Release of Final Text of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Nov 5, 2015 3:30:00 PM

SIA today welcomed the public release of the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a landmark trade agreement that sets key parameters for trade in the digital economy of the 21st Century. The TPP has the potential to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and the global economy. 

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Topics: trade

Global Industry Reiterates Call for Restrained “Staging” for ITA Expansion

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Nov 2, 2015 12:30:00 PM

In a strong statement released today, more than 80 associations from around the world have again weighed in urging parties negotiating expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to implement their tariff elimination commitments as quickly as possible, showing restraint in their requests for extended “staging.” Parties will meet again the week of Nov. 9 in Geneva to wrap up negotiations on phase-out timeframes (staging) for the 201 tariff lines covered by ITA expansion.

The Global Industry Statement notes: “The time has come for all parties to show maximum ambition by limiting their staging requests to ensure the strongest possible ITA expansion outcome is ready for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in mid-December.”

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Topics: trade, ITA

Global Industry Urges ITA Negotiators to Show Restraint on Staging

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Sep 23, 2015 4:25:00 PM

Following the hard-fought agreement achieved in July on the product list to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), negotiators will return to Geneva next week to sort through implementation timeframes for the 201 high-tech product lines to be covered by ITA expansion. These timeframes are known as “staging,” the periods over which tariffs are eliminated.

In a strong statement released today, more than 80 associations from around the world wrote:

While the standard phase-out (or staging) period for tariff elimination under ITA expansion is three years, we urge the negotiators to show as much ambition as possible and embrace the important provision in the formal July 28 WTO declaration on ITA expansion that encourages “autonomous immediate elimination of customs duties or accelerated implementation...” We trust the negotiating parties will seek to be as faithful as possible to this ambition. Similarly, we urge all negotiating parties to show restraint in seeking staging periods longer than three years, given the short innovation cycles for high-technology products.

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Topics: trade, ITA

Implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement Inches Closer Following U.S. Letter of Acceptance

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Jan 27, 2015 2:00:00 PM

SIA welcomes the news that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman formally delivered the United States’ letter of acceptance of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the WTO Director in Davos, Switzerland on Friday. Delivery of the letter was a welcome final step in U.S. acceptance of the Agreement.

The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO’s 160 Members have completed their domestic legal procedures and submit letters of acceptance. So far, three Members have submitted letters: Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.

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Topics: trade

The Benefits of Including Multi-Component Semiconductors in an Expanded Information Technology Agreement

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Dec 8, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Following a key breakthrough between China and the United States on the sidelines of the APEC Leaders meeting in Beijing in November, negotiators have returned to Geneva to resume, and hopefully conclude, an expanded Information Technology Agreement that extends duty-free coverage to approximately 200 new technology product lines.

Included on this list of new products are next generation semiconductors known as multicomponent semiconductors (MCOs). MCOs are the latest evolution in semiconductor technology driven by consumer demand for greater functionality, performance, and miniaturization. Simply put, an MCO is a single semiconductor device that performs complex or multiple functions previously done by two or more semiconductor devices, thanks to a variety of components integrated into a single unit.

Duty-free treatment for MCOs via ITA expansion has been a top priority for the global semiconductor industry for many years. Eliminating tariffs on MCOs will save the global semiconductor industry $150-300 million in tariffs annually, with this number only set to grow as global consumer demand for MCOs grows.

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Topics: MCO, trade