RealTime IT News

AMD Chief Joins Bush Trade Policy Team

Hector Ruiz, president and CEO of chip maker AMD , has been appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN).

The advisory panel provides the U.S. Trade Representative, America's chief trade negotiator and the principal trade policy advisor to the president, with policy advice on trade issues including objectives and bargaining positions before entering into a trade agreement, and the operation of any trade agreement once entered into with another country.

The ACTPN includes representatives of non-federal governments and labor, industry, agriculture, small business, service industries, retailer and consumer interests. The committee includes the heads of several leading companies, including IBM, eBay, and Sony Music Entertainment.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to provide a voice for the technology community and our customers on critical trade policy issues," Ruiz said of his appointment.

Ruiz added that trade policy is an increasingly important issue for the semiconductor and technology industries, where product and technology developments occur at a furious pace. The Sunnyvale, Calif-based AMD, which makes microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and support circuitry for communications and networking applications, has extensive global operations with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Asia.

On March 31, AMD announced $2.5 billion deal to build a new Flash memory semiconductor company with facilities in both Japan and the U.S. The new company will be called FASL LLC (AMD will take a 60 stake. Fujitsu will maintain 40 percent) and use 7,000 employees to create the second largest Flash provider with 19 percent market share. Rival and market leader Intel controls 27 percent of the market.

AMD ranked third and Fujitsu fourth in the flash market last year. Together, their 2002 flash revenue was $1.5 billion, surpassing Samsung's $1.1 billion. Intel earned flash revenue of $2 billion in 2002.