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Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Through Chips Act

(FILE) U.S. President Joe Biden tours a semiconductor manufacturer.

President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS Act whose main goal is to restore and maintain America’s technological leadership.

Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Through Chips Act
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In 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS Act whose main goal is to restore and maintain America’s technological leadership. “Embedded in that objective is this goal of creating globally more resilient, diversified, and secure semiconductor supply chains,” explained Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Ramin Toloui in a recent briefing. The need for this became especially clear during the COVID pandemic as disruptions in semiconductor supply chains had the potential to affect everything from cars to medical devices.

Within the Chips Act, Congress appropriated $500 million over five years to the Department of State for the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund. State will use this Fund to work with its partners and allies on four areas that will strengthen the resilience, diversity, and security of global semiconductor supply chains and secure global ICT ecosystems, explained Assistant Secretary Toloui:

“The first area of focus is securing and diversifying the sources of critical mineral inputs that are needed in microchip fabrication. . . .So, the fabrication of semiconductors requires reliable access to critical minerals such as cobalt, aluminum, arsenic, copper, and rare earth elements, and we want to bring new, more diverse, and resilient mining, refining, processing, and recycling capacity online to support global chip production, including in the United States.”

The second area of focus is diversifying and ensuring the resilience of the assembly, testing, and packaging of microchips that’s needed to take those pieces of silicon and put them in products.

The third area aims to strengthen policy coordination with U.S. allies and partners. The goal is to help ensure “complementarity in our respective approaches to industry incentives, as well as improve collaboration during disruptions in supply,” said Assistant Secretary Toloui.

The fourth area of focus on the semiconductor side is protecting national security, explained Assistant Secretary Toloui:

“Some uses of advanced semiconductors can pose national security risks, and the goal is to strengthen mechanisms to mitigate those risks through collaboration with international partners on export controls and licensing policies.”

Now, no single country can conduct all the essential activities in the modern semiconductor supply chain, said Assistant Secretary Toloui. “Collaboration with our allies and partners is critical to realizing the ambitious goals of the CHIPS Act.”