The concept of a Semiconductor Council was created by a joint agreement “Agreement Between EIAJ and SIA on International Cooperation regarding Semiconductors” signed on August 2, 1996 in Vancouver, Canada. At that time a preparatory committee was established to work out the details of the Council’s methods of operation and to establish a charter consistent with the principles established by the Vancouver agreement. In a separate document executed by the Governments of Japan and the United States, an annual meeting for industry to meet with government was established.

From inception, the doctrines of respect for market principles and support for free and open markets were established. Accordingly, before membership consideration, a country or region where the association is located must meet one of two criteria regarding tariffs elimination. First, all tariffs have been eliminated or; second, commitment to expeditious elimination of all tariffs on semiconductors or suspension of such tariffs pending their formal elimination has been made.

The European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) and the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) quickly applied to join the Council. Both associations were successful in persuading their respective governments to approve an expeditious plan for semiconductor tariff elimination. Both EECA and KSIA accomplished this requirement in time to join at the first meeting of the Council, which was held in Oahu, Hawaii an April 11, 1997. At that inaugural meeting, organized and hosted by EIAJ, the name “World Semiconductor Council (WSC)” was established.


WSC 1998 Happi wear with taruzake
(Left to Right)

Enrico Villa EECA (General Manager, SGS=Thomson Microelectronics)
William P. Weber SIA (Vice Chairman, Texas Instruments, Inc.)
Norio Ohga EIAJ (Chairman and CEO Sony Corporation)
Chung Hwan KSIA (Vice Chairman, LG Semicon Co., Ltd.)

In April 1998, the second meeting of the WSC was held in Carlsbad, California and hosted by the SIA in the United States. The 1999 meeting of the WSC was held in Fiuggi, Italy and hosted by EECA.


WSC 1998 in Carlsbad – Mountain and Golf course
(Left to Right)

Michiyo Shindo EIAJ (Manager, General & Commercial Planning & Administration Div. Mitsubishi Electric Corp.)
Duke M. Ko.o KSIA (Senior Managing Director Sales & Administration, LG Semicon Co.)
James Mackin SIA (Marketing & Sales Vice President, Asia Pacific, Lucent Technologies)
Enrico Villa EECA (General Manager, SGS=Thomson Microelectronics)

At the Fiuggi, Italy meeting, a new multilateral industry agreement, “Agreement Establishing a New World Semiconductor Council” was adopted. This ensured that the WSC would continue into the 21st century. At this meeting the SIA in Chinese Taipei was admitted as the fifth member.
The new multilateral agreement took effect on June 10, 1999 at the annual meeting of industry with the governments held in Brussels, Belgium. At that meeting a joint statement by government” Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductor by the European Commission and the Governments of the United States, Japan and Korea” was issued. This memorandum extended the annual meeting of industry with the governments that had been in place under the Vancouver accord of 1996 into the future.


Signing ceremony of the “Agreement Establishing the New World Semiconductor Council”
(Left to Right)

At its annual meeting in San Francisco in May of 2006, the WSC unanimously extended an invitation to the SIA in China to join. SIA in China subsequently joined later that year, making it the sixth association in the membership of the WSC.