WASHINGTON, November 4, 2022 – The Department of Commerce’s recent export restrictions on semiconductors will make American companies less competitive in global markets unless U.S. allies agree to abide by similar measures, Jimmy Goodrich, vice president of global policy at the Semiconductor Industry Association, at a web panel Friday.
In October, Commerce prohibited the exportation to China of certain high-functioning chips necessary for supercomputers and moved to prevent other countries from providing China with certain semiconductors made with American technology.
The Commerce Department also limited American citizens’ ability to work with Chinese chip facilities. The restrictions were billed as a national security imperative and designed to limit the development next-generation, chip-dependent Chinese military technology.
However, the United States acted unilaterally, and her allies are not yet “on board,” Goodrich said.
Until allies opt into similar restrictions, the department’s new rules will “encourage the de-Americanization of [intellectual property] and supply chains,” Goodrich said. “If you’re a multinational company, you’re thinking about developing your intellectual property, where are you going to do it? Probably not the United States at this point.”
“You’re going to look to Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, where you may not face that type of regulatory environment,” he added.
China is a huge market for the American chip industry and related businesses, and based on the new restrictions, some firms are predicting revenue declines of $1 billion to $2.5 billion, Goodrich said.
“[The challenge] is balancing a national security with the economic security piece,” stated Paul Triolo, senior vice president for China and technology policy lead at the Albright Stonebridge Group. “There hasn’t really been a significant discussion of how China fits into [global] supply chains and under what conditions.”
Commerce added the export restrictions just two months after President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act, which allocated $52.7 billion for domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. Since CHIPS, Intel and others have announced or broken ground on several chip factories in the United States.