Enough China export restrictions, the SIA tells US government

Enough China export restrictions, the SIA tells US government

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By Peter Clarke

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The US-based Semiconductor Industry Association has said the US should not escalate restrictions on trade with China. It did so as leading US chip company CEOs met US government representatives Monday July 17.

CEOs from Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm met with senior politicians and administrators in Washington on Monday, according to reports (see Leading US chip CEOs to lobby to limit Chinese export controls). The politicians included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, according to Reuters. Government officials included National Economic Council director Lael Brainard and National Security Council director Jake Sullivan.

The CEOs are reportedly trying to prevent a further round of restrictions being considered by the Biden administration. Those that are already in place are impacting the US companies’ sales and profits as China decouples from the US. Over several years as export controls have ramped up China has decried them as unfair but has recently started to impose its own trade restrictions (see China squeezes the West’s access to gallium, germanium). Chinese government representatives have also said the restrictions will ultimately back fire by stimulating the development of internal suppliers and making China self-reliant.

As the Washington meetings were taking place the SIA issued a statement that praised the US government for enacting the CHIPS and Science Act but said the good work was at risk of being undermined by the imposition of “overly broad, ambiguous, and at times unilateral restrictions.”

Restrictions hurting US

The SIA stated that these steps could diminish the US chip industry’s competitiveness, disrupt supply chains, cause market uncertainty and prompt escalatory retaliation by China. “We call on both governments to ease tensions and seek solutions through dialogue, not further escalation,” the statement said.

The SIA asked the US government to refrain from imposing further restrictions at least while the impact of current any potential restrictions is assessed.

Discussions also covered speeding up the hand out of money under the CHIPS Act and how to make sure US policy does not result in US firms being excluded from the Chinese market, Reuters said.

One of the restrictions under consideration is a further tightening the rules around AI chips that can be supplied to China. Reportedly the clock frequency or other performance metric has yet to be set.

News articles:

Leading US chip CEOs to lobby to limit Chinese export controls

China squeezes the West’s access to gallium, germanium

Nvidia hobbles A100 chip to meet US export control rules

Chinese chiplet-based GPU claims performance record

Report: TSMC stops work on Chinese AI chip amid sanctions confusion

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