© maksim pasko dreamstime.com General | April 07, 2020
U.S. chipmaking industry seeks to slow export rule changes
Nine semi-conductor industry groups urged U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross slow the momentum to finalizing recently proposed rules that would further limit U.S. exports of semiconductors and other technology to China.
Citing “unintended consequences” such as “significant impacts to the semiconductor industry, its global supply chain, and the broader technology sector,” the letter, signed by the Semiconductor Industry Association and the National Foreign Trade Council, SEMI, and six other groups, urged Ross to allow public comment before putting the rules into effect, Reuters is reporting. The letter also highlighted the role that chips have in current efforts underway to ramp up manufacturing of medical equipment needed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. “Semiconductors drive the functionality in advanced medical equipment used by health professionals to treat the public,” the letter read. Last week, senior U.S. officials agreed on a set of new controls for high-tech exports to China, as a way of blocking advanced U.S. technology being diverted from commercial to military use, a Reuters source said. Prior to that, officials U.S. officials made it a requirement for foreign entities using U.S. chipmaking equipment to get licenses prior to supplying specific chips technology to China’s Huawei Technologies. In the letter to Ross, SEMI President Ajit Manocha said the most recently proposed changes would harm U.S. chipmaking, a USD 20 billion per year industry. The move would “serve as a disincentive for further investments and innovation in the U.S. and lead to the design-out of U.S. technology and components,” Manocha said. The U.S. Governments recent requirements garnered a terse response from China, with Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying urging Washington to stop “slandering” and “do more for the cooperation between our two sides,” Reuters reported.