back to article TSMC founder says 'globalization is almost dead' as Asian foundry giant expands in US

Caught in the middle of an escalating trade war between the US and China, the founder of Taiwanese contract chip-making giant TSMC has stated that globalization and free trade are "almost dead" as his company expands in the US for the first time in over 20 years. Morris Chang reportedly made the comments at Tuesday's ceremony …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Globalization is almost dead

    I wonder where TSMC are going to buy chip making equipment from in the USA?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Globalization is almost dead

      The world's biggest supplier of chipmaking equipment is European, ASML in the Netherlands to be precise. And they are now feeling the pressure to stop selling to China.

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: Globalization is almost dead

        I thought they had already been forced to stop selling to China.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Globalization is almost dead

        So isn't an European company selling to a Taiwanese company in the USA, globalisation ? Or is the world flat (for legal reasons) ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Globalization is almost dead

          So isn't an European company selling to a Taiwanese company in the USA, globalisation ? Or is the world flat (for legal reasons) ?

          Unipolar to multipolar is probably a better way of describing the change, rather than the death of globalisation.

          Unipolar = Do what the USA says or prepare to have your country bombed, invaded or its government subverted/overturned by a CIA-backed coup

          Multipolar = USA, Western Europe and some of Asia versus the BRICs and the global south

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: Globalization is almost dead

            Multipolar is more than two poles….I think we will shortly have tripolar Iron Curtains.

            China+Russia+Africa+Iran+Syria+Arabian Peninsula(Saudi etc)

            North America+Anglosphere+India+Pakistan+APAC (South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia etc)

            West-EU

            South America might align with US hegemony or China/Russia. Eastern EU (Poland, East Germany, accession countries) will be faced with a very brutal choice by 2025 latest as NATO is not going to hold. The Saudis will get pulled across the line once the USA can do without the oil by 2035 or so, possibly much earlier if nuclear war breaks out in Eastern Europe which is 50/50.

            1. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: Globalization is almost dead

              On-topic, the ASML/tools question.

              The US simply isn’t going to allow the EU weaponise its tools exports. They will simply be blocked, and the US will make them. It will probably take the US 8+ years to catch up, but it will. Note that silicon manufacture can continue without them, it just can’t progress. Both sides are big losers, that’s what happens in trade wars. It’s going to be a rough couple of decades.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Globalization is almost dead

              You do know that East Germany is in fact, just "Germany"?

              1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                Re: Globalization is almost dead

                Nope. No more than Ukraine is part of the USSR, nor Austria-Hungary one nation under the Habsburgs, and the South Tyrol is now Italy not Austria. Nothing is forever, particularly in that region.

                In the specific case of East Germany, 25% of its population when asked in 2019 said they thought life was better under communism, rising to 60% of the over-65s. I think they are badly wrong, and clearly so do you. But pretending those people don’t exist is a recipe for getting a helluva lot of people killed.

                1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                  Re: Globalization is almost dead

                  > 25% of its population when asked in 2019 said they thought life was better under communism

                  So, in other words, 75% of the population *didn't* think life was better under communism.

                  And the far higher figure level of support among the over-65s doesn't change that overall figure, nor bolster your case.

                  Quite the opposite, it simply makes it *far* more probable that the remaining 25% who *are* nostalgic for communism are dominated by those in that older age group, i.e. those more likely to die off sooner rather than later.

                  1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                    Re: Globalization is almost dead

                    Not disputing that. As you say, the democratic mandate is achieved when you reach the magic 50%. But when a quarter of their population would actively welcome Russian invasion, there’s a real problem. It’s somewhat amusing to me, noting how your arguments apply to 52% Brexit consisting of 38% Brexit in Scotland…..so rather more than 52% Brexit in England….

                    And to be quite honest, read what’s written on this forum without your rose-tinted spectacles. People *mention* concern about Russia. But when it comes to foaming anger and paranoia about influence/dominance of other countries, anti-USA has always outnumbered anti-Russia by 10:1 in the comments. How much fire-breathing about NSA spying / GDPR violation, vs the exact same espionage efforts by Russia intelligence on the dozens of EU companies located on Russian soil (Renault, Total….). This is the reality of “NATO” in the EU. It’s politically-correct mouth-wobbling…..they “prefer” EU-first plague-on-both-their-houses, but if the chips are down and they are forced to pick a side between being dominated by USA or Russia, I’m afraid it’s Russia all day long.

                    Your point about the opinions of the oldest quarter of the population being irrelevant because they are nearly dead, is nonsense demographics. Most of the Green-voting students will, on average, become Daily Mail readers when they get old. We have 70 years of data showing that people don’t carry their youthful politics with them.

                    1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                      Re: Globalization is almost dead

                      I should make clear that my comment was intended as a detached observation on the statistics you were using to back up your case, and how they don't seem to support it in the implied way.

                      > It’s somewhat amusing to me, noting how your arguments apply to 52% Brexit consisting of 38% Brexit in Scotland…..so rather more than 52% Brexit in England….

                      Maybe it's just me, but I don't think the analogy here is clear at all.

                      > read what’s written on this forum without your rose-tinted spectacles

                      Are you addressing me personally, or as someone you take for granted is your imagined "average Register reader"?

                      > Your point about the opinions of the oldest quarter of the population being irrelevant because they are nearly dead, is nonsense demographics.

                      The difference here is that those over 65 who (likely) dominate the communist-nostalgics will be those who grew up and lived their lives well into adulthood under communism, whereas the middle-aged won't have as much, and anyone not already well into their thirties not at all.

                      It's questionable whether they'll get nostalgic about a system they had little or no direct experience of.

                      There's a taken-for-granted assumption that everyone who was a rabid left-leaning radical when young turns into a reactionary conservative when older. This might be true in many cases, but it isn't necessarily so, and far less likely to be so when (e.g.) the people you seem to assume will turn into "fuck you, I've got mine" don't have theirs at all, as is more and more the case in the UK as people move into middle age without the things their parents took for granted at that age and see the generation above them with wealth accrued purely from having been lucky enough to have (e.g.) been able to buy a house when it was cheap, then watch the price rise.

                      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                        Re: Globalization is almost dead

                        The analogy is that I selected a subgroup with higher % than the average, and you correctly pointed out that this necessarily implies another subgroup with lower % average. The context this usually comes up is replacing the words “supports Communism”&”over 65” with “supports Remain”&”Scottish voters”. You are correct that part of my argument is a logical fallacy, as is the argument it was cut-and-paste from, because the democratically relevant % is the total. But it’s worth noting that in the UK, there is *no* subgroup you can cherrypick for support of Communism. You wouldn’t reach even 10% if you polled Clydebank dockworkers.

                        I wasn’t assuming *you* held anti-US tepid-Russia opinions. I am suggesting you recognise that these *are* the vast majority opinions of most EU let alone East Germany. And a simple count of posts on this forum is sufficient to verify that. At least half of all political posts on the forum, on any topic, express anti-US, exceeding even anti-China. While the anti-Russia posts are fairly confined to the US/U.K. readership. NATO is a convenient pretense within Europe, EU enjoys the nuclear shield, but beyond the word there is absolutely zero content of substance on alliance of interest from that side.

                        Where we differ on demographics, is that essentially your argument is “this time it will be different”. And I agree with your premise of the demographic conditions. But it’s really no different from Marx’s original observation about the conditions of the working classes during the industrial revolution, who concluded there would be revolution. There wasn’t revolution in the U.K., there never is, but the 1930s did happen in Germany. Even this weeks coup attempt on the Bundestag, how different was that from the Bierhalleputsch? And the Commission/German Coalition/Weimar Republic will continue to blindly pour themselves another champagne, because it’s just a few malcontents. No, this time it isn’t different.

                        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                          Re: Globalization is almost dead

                          So your argument is the analogy that (a) Scotland voting pro-Remain (by a 24% margin) implied that the rest of the UK was *more* pro-Leave if you left us out of the vote, but that (b) this was irrelevant because the Scottish vote was pooled as part of the UK-wide vote?

                          True if all you were concerned about was the ultimate result. But - as someone who's both pro-Scottish independence and opposed to Brexit- the distinction certainly *is* relevant and legitimate to *my* case.

                          Similarly, the fact that the 25% is dominated by the over-65s *is* relevant unless we assume that those who never grew up under communism will ultimately end up having the same nostalgia for that system. You seem to think so, I'm sceptical (despite the fact there are always people who will get "nostalgic" for something they're too young to have experienced personally).

                          I'm not remotely convinced by your claim that the majority of the EU is- when push comes to shove- more anti-US than anti-Russia. I'm well aware that how NATO and the West are viewed is more complicated and ambivalent in (e.g.) Eastern Europe than it is in the UK and Western Europe. But I certainly don't buy that this means they- let alone the whole of the EU- are "anti-US" but merely "tepid Russia".

                          If there's more anti-US commentary here (and that's open to question), it's likely because there's more discussion of US-related issues full stop because the US *is* generally more important, particularly when it comes to IT-related things. And we're probably discussing Russia more than we would otherwise due to the current war.

                          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                            Re: Globalization is almost dead

                            I think we mostly agree on the first point, in our own ways.

                            But on the second point, it’s not nostalgia. It’s the lived experience of the people below median income that the current system of patronage-capitalism has entirely failed them over their lives. Communism is an attractor, as is fascism. If you think political beliefs age and die with the person, then France has a real problem. Marine Le Pen was polling 46% if you exclude the over-65s. This is a class issue, and an invisibility issue, not a nostalgia/age issue.

                            https://www.politico.eu/article/macrons-france-vs-le-pens-france-in-charts/

                            As to IT issues and Russia…..the EU has rather visibly refused to sanction Russian companies, only individuals. Russia’s two largest tech companies are Yandex and VK. Yandex is a dominant search engine platform, which the EU has chosen not to address under the Digital Markets Act, in contrast to US-based Google. VK is an IM platform, favoured in the EU by teens as a burner, that fits perfectly the definition of regulated platform under EU’s new Digital Services Act. However, the EU choose to sanction US-based Insta, US-based Snap, Chinese-based TikTok, US-based Kik (offering a full opt-out if it operates services out of its Germany data-centre), but not address Russian-based VK at all. I think we get the message.

                    2. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Globalization is almost dead

            I think you meant Multipolar to unipolar, where multipolar included China and Russia. Your definition of multipolar is the same as unipolar, just with the geographic extent defined.

      3. Lordrobot

        Re: Globalization is almost dead

        ASML disagrees with your silly propaganda AGAIN. The only loser that doesn't trade with China is Losersville Redneck Murica and they are morons.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Globalization is almost dead

      The biggest question is whether the US "government" will allow export of 3nm & 4nm process chips or if they will be subject to State department review for each sale/shipment. That's been the biggest roadblock to making IC's in the US for many years. It's also very stupid since it doesn't take anything near that advanced to guide an ICBM or for the black boxes in fighter jets. Even supercomputers can be built from very common silicon. Cost of labor isn't a factor. Cost of the fab and the ability to sell product is.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Globalization is almost dead

        Military spec chips have to use a more conservative process than state-of-the-art cellphone or graphics chips. They need to work in harsher environments -- temperature, radiation, vibration and MTBF need to be controlled.

        The risk involved in designing with US products is now off the scale. This is how China will "win" -- they don't need to produce the best, they just need to produce good enough and to do it in such a way that its not encumbered by the whims of individual US lawmakers and their lobbyist patrons. This is the reason why the US has found itself increasingly shut out from US standards bodies -- as soon as it takes a lead in any technology it 'owns' it and that attracts a huge bureaucratic overhead that bends with wherever the prevailing political wind blows. Its been doing this for 50 years or more, some years more relaxed, some years more strict, and it means that if you're designing anything for a global market you'd be advised to use anything other than American technology unless you absolutely have no other choice.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Globalization is almost dead

          The risk is blindly enforced US ITAR export rules. It's quite possible that a computer/phone made with chips fabbed in the USA can't be exported (even to friends) without State Dept permission, while the same machine made with identical chips fabbed in Taiwan can be freely bought anywhere.

          Imagine you buy an iPhone, you might want to ask the store if taking it to Mexico gets you 25years in club fed.

          If you are a US corporation you might feel pressure to buy laptops with home grown chips but then have to buy identical Lenovos from China to use on any foreign trips.

          1. NeilPost

            Re: Globalization is almost dead

            Except globalisation-style all of those electronics are made in the far east - much in China.

            There will be no local market in the USA (or NORAM) for the output. I suppose at least it will be good for exports.

            1. Jaybus

              Re: Globalization is almost dead

              No market in the USA for electronics??

              1. NeilPost

                Re: Globalization is almost dead

                … as in electronics factories making TV’s Computers, Phones, tablets, white goods, industrial control, auto electronics, PC mother boards, SSD’s etc….

                iPhone factory Trump promised for US for example.

              2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Globalization is almost dead

                "No market in the USA for electronics??"

                Finished product, Yes. Components, No or not much. The US government purchasing agencies aren't all that concerned with the origin of what they buy. If they can shave a few cents off of each tube of government issue tubes of toothpaste, they'll take the deal and that department will get bonuses for saving the taxpayer's money. Even though they aren't.

          2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
            Joke

            Export-Acceptable Laptops

            I for one will welcome my export-acceptable, DECsystem-20-on-a-chip-powered laptop. Get rid of the trackpad, move the keyboard "down" to take its place, and use the new space above the keyboard for all the LEDs and (new, low-profile) console switches.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Export-Acceptable Laptops

              Just a single DECsystem?

              You can have an entire VAXcluster on a rPi

    3. Spanners Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Globalization is almost dead

      People need to think very carefully before buying infrastructure from the USA too!

      Reasons for that statement include the famous US build "quality" where profits are put far ahead of decent products, the US legal system thinks that it overrides everyone else's, the potential for bizarre measurement systems and excessive reliance on IP (imaginary property) to stop competition,

      These things lead to poor design, bad manufacture and built in spyware by law.

    4. JoeCool Silver badge

      Re: Globalization is almost dead

      I think his point is that national industrial policy has shifted from unrestrained capitalism (which is a driving force for free markets and free trade ) to political considerations ( trade pacts, foreign policy, social trends ).

      "Globilization" does not mean that A cannot buy from B, it just means that there are economic policies which make it more expensive.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Rightly So

      Yeah, that's what the Americans were saying about the Japanese in 1940. That turned out to be a great way to keep the peace.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rightly So

        Japan invaded Machuria in 1931 and continued light fighting elsewhere China until it initiated total warfare to attempt to occupy the entirety of China in 1937. It wasn't until Japan invaded Indochina in 1940 that the US ordered an oil embargo on Japan.

        In 1939 Russia smooched up with Hitler and the Nazi's so Russia could Russnazifi Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Moldavia, and Eastern Poland. Great way to keep the peace! Two years later paid the price for being such an asshole. But it appears today nothing has been remembered about the price of being a total asshole.

      2. Jaybus

        Re: Rightly So

        Yes and they were far too late in sanctioning Japan by 1940. They should have sanctioned them in the early 1930's.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Rightly So

      "They will start a war as soon as they calculate they can win it."

      That may be true with respect to Taiwan, but I doubt very much is true generally.

      "Keep the Chicoms in their natural state of Being Behind. "

      Wow to the casual racism! There's nothing natural to China being behind 'the west' technologically, these things go in cycles. The Chinese were busy inventing paper, gunpowder and pasta while Europe was stuck in the dark ages and some native Americans had yet to invent the wheel*. At some point in the future they will probably technologically surpass 'the west', simply because they have a far higher volume of people who respect learning than the US and far more entrepreneurial spirit than Europe, and can throw far more resources behind engineering projects.

      There is nothing 'the west' CAN do to *keep them behind*, even if the idea were not so morally compromised. The only thing 'the west' CAN do to stay ahead is to improve our own innovation.

      *though to be fair to the Incas, it would have been pretty useless in the Andes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nice Try To Godwin Discussion

        "Chicom" is not a race, rather it is Chinese Communists (and those under their tyrannical control). Communism has a long history on cracking down on the most productive people of a society, because these people need to have an independent mind. The result is Chinesium products, including Chinesium Weapons.

        So the Chicoms rent out "their" populace for semi-slavery to NATO+SK+JP corporations. In "return" the Chicoms can acquire high end products (from high performance A/D converters to superpure chemicals) and services, which they then use to beef up their low grade weaponry. Then they THINK they are so powerful they can attack weaker neighbours like India, the Phillipines, Viet Nam and so on. The reason for that is that their control-freakery has turned the Chicom leaders into exactly the bellicist §hits communism identifies in capitalism.

        Communism is about worshipping money and power, where god has been, there is only a black hole. Very dangerous, if these chaps are too heavily armed.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

      "We must deny China this technology, or prepare ourselves for a very nasty war."

      Have you visited a major US university in the last ten years and looked at the demographics of the students? The STEM degree tracks are stuffed with students hailing from the Middle Kingdom. There are real estate offices near some of these campuses that are Chinese operations that work with families in China to purchase or secure long term leases on homes for students' parents so their kids aren't in dorms and will be away from campus when not in class. Another big reason is that with some markets, it makes good investment sense to buy a house for the students to live in for 4-5 years over paying rapacious room and board fees for them to live on campus. The US universities are teaching the up and coming Chinese engineers. Denying Chinese companies product is only grandstanding. I'll admit it's been more than a couple of months since the last story I read, but that's a long interval between arrests for Chinese agents caught smuggling trade secrets from companies in the US. And the military, of course.

      Better is the enemy of good enough. If tech from 10 years ago is good enough for military operations, more advanced tech isn't a big improvement other than a mechanism to hike up prices for the military equipment contractors. If my CEP goes from 3 meters on a guided munition to 1.5 meters, the effective difference is zero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

        We can see in Ukraine that electronics make a big difference.

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

        Is there ever a point at which we will consider this kind of thing unwise? Or are the vast fees paid by foreign students too much of a draw?

        Southampton is the UK leader in Optical Fibres. Most of the PhD students are Chinese.

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

      electronics played a key role in WW1 already

      Examples and sources please.

      == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Homework

        Please do your homework yourself. It's all out there on the WWW. You can start with battle of Tannenberg. But that is just the east front, much more sophisticated on the west front.

      3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

        Potemkine,

        Not that I go along with the OPs thesis. But I can give you a few examples from WW1 off the top of my head. Radio was new and had interesting effects. Electronic warfare wasn't much of a thing (as far as I've read) but there were serious battlefield effects from either failing to use tech, or using it badly so the other side could exploit it.

        The German High Seas Fleet did most of their communications by radio when in port. Rather than using runners or phone lines. Thus the British were able to track that they were in port without recon and when they were planning something (by the increased chatter). Hence Beatty's battlecruiser squadron were mostly in the right place at the right time to foil their plans (when he wasn't being incompetent and fucking everything up). I don't think we broke their naval codes and were reading the actual messages - so it was just traffic analysis.

        Conversely the Royal Navy hadn't really got the hang of tactical radio comms yet, and were still using signal flags! Beatty (again) nearly fucked up the battle of Jutland with pisspoor use of radio, but Jellicoe guessed what was going on and got there in time to save him anyway.

        The Russian 1914 offensive in Poland vastly outnumbered the Germans. But due to having to split their army due to terrain, and the commanders hating each other, a much smaller German force were able to defeat them in detail. Aided massively by the Russian HQs communicating by radio, without using code. Battles of Tannenberg / Masurian Lakes.

        I've not read about it, only seen it mentioned on a documentary on the battle of the Somme, so don't know how long it lasted or how widespread amongst other armies. But the British army in 1916 were using unshielded cables for field telephones in their trench systems. The Germans had a handy box that could pick up the electronic signals transmitted through the soil and so listen into their frontline communications. Trench lines were often very close, plus underground tunnelling under no-man's land.

        Oh and the Zimmerman Telegram of course. Britain having cut Germany's telegraph cables, they were forced to use the British cables to send their messages to try and persuade Mexico to invade Texas. Admittedly that was sent via US diplomatic cable (rude!) as President Wilson had allowed the Germans to use US facilities in order to help peace initiatives. But US cables went through the UK too, and we'd broken the German diplomatic ciphers. Then there was just the dilemma of how to tell the US that Germany were planning to invade them, but oh by the way we're reading your diplomatic cables sorry about that old chap. Still trust us! We only want you to join our little war, we've no motive to lie...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

          Very good homework. Now add the French exploits.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

            Very good homework. Now add the French exploits.

            Don't know nuffink about no froggy stuff guv! 'S all Greek to me. I've not read much about WWI in decades, though I keep meaning to. I went to the school of "Lions Led by Donkeys", which I believe is more-or-less bollocks, so ought to read some more modern history about it.

            I'm thinking of going on one of those battlefield tours to WWI/II sites in France and/or Germany next year, taking Mum. So that might be an incentive to read up beforehand. There's a cool tour that does guided visits in Northern France and Belgium of battlefields and breweries, so you do one of each a day. Very tempting, but I doubt I can sell that to Mum. Which is a shame, that sounds like real homework.

            Also need to see if there's any information out there now about where her Grandad was fighting - I think there's a lot online nowadays. Mum lived at his place after their house got bombed in 1940.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Homework / French Section

              Read up on Georges Painvin.

        2. Jaybus

          Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

          We are so used to advanced electronic technology that the simple things are overlooked. A most obvious example of this is the arc-lamp searchlight that revolutionized nocturnal warfare. Another example is the wired telephones that were attached to tethered observation balloons, dramatically extending the range and accuracy of artillery. Around 60% of battlefield casualties were caused by artillery.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Modern War: Electronics, Electronics, Electronics

          >Conversely the Royal Navy hadn't really got the hang of tactical radio comms yet.

          If you are interested in researching this area...

          Back in the 1970's my maternal grandfather - Fredrick Harry Miller - was extensively interviewed as he had been the chief communications officer on HMS Iron Duke during WW1 responsible for the new radio communications equipment and signals. These recordings and their transcripts were donated to the Imperial War museum as part of its aural history collection.

          I know he relished the fact that because of his social class (and lack of prior Naval career) he should of been a rating, but because of his skills he was an officer...

    3. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Vietnam -- WTF?

      Viet Nam was such a desaster for America, because they had let their military electronic competence slip by then

      I don't recall that Vietnam's superior high-tech military gizmos were a cause of America's defeat in that war!

      1. fg_swe Bronze badge

        Oh IT Man

        You think you know all when you know nothing.

        In Viet Nam, russian made and operated SAMs were masterpieces of control and radio electronics then.

        They blew something lin the order of 50% of US fighters and bombers out of the sky.

        Read up on Wild Weasel if you want to know why they did not shoot 100% of US planes.

        1. fg_swe Bronze badge

          Re: Oh IT Man

          The modern Wild Weasel is the ECR Tornado and the EF18 GROWLER.

          Apparently the USAF and RAF currently dont do this role, but this can change in a blink of an eye.

          1. fg_swe Bronze badge

            Re: Oh IT Man

            Here is a great video on Wild Weasel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHpsaasL5gM

            It truly was an epic fight between soviet and american electronics engineers. A fight between Russian missile soldiers and American airmen/flying sailors. Not just the SAMs, also the radar controlled Flak and the ground-radar guided Mig19s, Mig21s.

            America lost that one, because they were complacent.

            After that, won over Iraq and Lybia almost with ease. They did not have the latest Russian electronics and not the Russian electronic soldiers.

          2. fg_swe Bronze badge

            Errata

            Block 50 F16s can be fitted with the gear necessary for the Wild Weasel Role. Due to Automation and precision sensors, no EWO is required.

            So the USAF does still operate a powerful emitter suppression capability.

  4. HereIAmJH

    And behind the scenes, COVID has it's effects again

    China has become an unreliable supplier over the last couple years.

    Ask GM and Ford how they liked having 10s of thousands of vehicles sitting in parking lots waiting for chips. Rumor has it that GM has also had to retest, repair and recertify hundreds of pickup trucks due to rodents chewing on wires while the trucks were waiting.

    Global JIT manufacturing took a huge hit due to COVID and the following shipping fiascos. Businesses are looking at all those lost sales due to lack of inventory. Retailers like Walmart and Target also took it in the shorts when orders for Christmas showed up late and they had to sit on the inventory for almost a year, or sell it at a discount. Wanna buy a fake Christmas tree in February? So there is a lot of interest in shortening supply lines. TSMC is undoubtedly getting huge $$ to build fabs in the US.

    With highly automated manufacturing, labor will no longer be a primary cost. They'll be looking at the cost of equipment, taxes, and incentives to determine where to build new plants.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: And behind the scenes, COVID has it's effects again

      To me it's like storing my working data on the cloud. I put my business at great risk by relinquishing control to a third party that may not always have my best interest in mind. The issue gets worse with distance and relative size differences between companies. Why would AWS give a rat's left testie that I can't access my data? If they have a problem, I can't solve mine even if I had money to throw at it.

      For GM and Ford, perhaps they didn't calculate their risk properly. If things are going well for some time, there is some complacency and an expectation that it will continue to be fine. Maybe now they will take recent goings on into consideration and make sure they have supply chain options much closer to home.

      Accountants love JIT as it makes their numbers look awesome. They just don't work the maths that shows what happens when you drop a rock into the gears or the bridge washes out.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: And behind the scenes, COVID has it's effects again

        "For GM and Ford, perhaps they didn't calculate their risk properly."

        This in spades. They looked at the front page of the Toyota Way manuals (minimising stock) without actually reading the whole bloody thing

        The Toyota Way is about reducing stockholding to minimum WITHOUT putting production at risk and constantly evaluating the risk/benefit from doing so.

        After the 2011 earthquake affected chip supplies Toyota reevaluated risks along with manufacturing time and started holding around 12 months' worth of semiconductors (up from 3-6 months) - plus they didn't cancel chip orders.

        This is why they were able to keep building vehicles whilst other makers cancelled orders, then got caught with their pants down when reordering got them sent to the back of the queue (they were apparently relying on being "too big to not prioritise", not realising they're tiny customers in the semiconductor market, mostly buying low-value/low-margin devices)

        TSMC et al would have happily bumped Ford/GM/etc up the queue if they'd been willing to pay for the privilege - the fact that incomplete vehicles were stockpiled is an indication that they didn't see it as worth the extra cost

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: And behind the scenes, COVID has it's effects again

          "The Toyota Way is about reducing stockholding to minimum WITHOUT putting production at risk and constantly evaluating the risk/benefit from doing so."

          I spent several years at an aerospace company as the safety officer. I think I had a talent for playing the devil's advocate and looking at the downsides of things. Mostly I needed to make sure they everybody was safe even if a rocket had a very bad day. The safety of the rocket being a distant secondary thing.

          I was also the head of the avionics department and had a great company engineering manager over me for a while that taught me loads. We did a bunch of work on risk to project progress which usually meant having backups of things on the shelf, alternate vendors identified and what tasks could and couldn't be shuffled in the event of unforeseen issues.

          I expect that I should read the Toyota Way. I'm guessing it's something that would have done me great use years ago.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Errata

        must read "99% of population has had antibodies since early 2022"

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: And behind the scenes, COVID has it's effects again

      "Rumor has it that GM has also had to retest, repair and recertify hundreds of pickup trucks due to rodents chewing on wires while the trucks were waiting"

      Which makes the point that vehicles should be built to prevent this being a possibility in the first place. Rodent damage is a constant theme in some areas - it's not exactly a new phenomenon

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Sensible

    Sensible. Even without the current political situation, it's better to have geographically diverse fabs anyway. Shipping costs are only going up, supply chain delays (both of supplies a fab may need to operate, and of getting output shipped in a timely manner), more localized weather-related problems (flooding or snowstorm closing things down, or even having to shut down due to a heatwave), wide-scale natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane, or derecho*), power grid issues, or just having something random go wrong that shuts down some fab production. Also does make sense to keep the "state of the art" at some fab first, so they know what they're doing before they rolled it out.

    *We had a derecho go through here in Iowa CIty, Iowa, derechos are nicknamed an inland hurricane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_2020_Midwest_derecho . Had 80MPH winds where I lived for like an hour and a half from it and it did manage to peel some shingles off my roof; and about a 5 mile wide band of 120+MPH winds about 20 miles north of here (120MPH for about an hour with 140MPH gusts.) It's like tornado damage but instead of a damage path a few dozen feet up to maybe a mile wide, you have this huge dozens of miles wide damage path.There's a nice vid on there of an area about 50 miles wide and 200 miles long losing power.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Sensible

      Sounds like a good reason not to build anything high tech in the Midwest.

      1. keith_w

        Re: Sensible

        We had one in Ontario this summer as well. Midwest has nothing to do with it.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Sensible

      The pendulum had swung too far one way and is now correcting. The main point of globalisation was to source cheaper goods for the west, but even before supply chain issues, costs in Asia have been rising, and for things like software or support centres, the lack of quality means you're not saving anything. Globalisation isn't really dead, it's just retrenching to a more sensible and sustainable level.

      It makes sense to have a strategic balance between what you deem essential and you can source internally or from close allies vs 'stuff' that you can, at a pinch, do without, which you can source from unreliable providers. It's perfectly OK if China is producing all the crappy toys and gadgets, not buying that shit would anyway be a win.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Sensible

      "Shipping costs are only going up"

      Shipping of semiconductors isn't a factor. I'll leave it to Randall Munroe to do the math, but in rough numbers, a whole shit-ton of IC's can fit in a standard shipping container. Amortize the cost to ship that container half way around the world at 20x the current costs and it still adds up to bugger all per chip.

  6. Lordrobot

    Typical Taiwan slurping competition

    Who in the USA is going to work in this TSMC pretend FOXCONN FAB plant? This isn't just crummy factory work, it is manpower-intensive boring work. And any clowns^ss that think this can be automated don't know FAB or Fab Testing. You are not going to divert burger flippers into this job.

    The idea that "globalization is dead" should only look at Joe Biten's Trump supply chain in the US with again 100 ships backed up at the Port of LA and Long Beach. One intelligent poster noted...Where is the US going to buy the materials for FAB in the US which doesn't make them? The great political lunacy of protectionism will crash land like all Marxist protectionism. JOW Biten's clamp down on tech has only sent US tech firms into recession. If not Microsoft's endless patchwork thread-bare software, there would be no job security for the make-work crowd.

    Taiwan wants in on the Gobbermment money... just like those honest folks at FOXCONNJOB. I would rather the Chinese spit in my face than listen to a slurper from Taiwan picking my pocket.

    Globalization is not dead; its just the USA that is dying on the vine... Oh but but but Columbus OHIO will be the epicentre of all FAB... like McClatchy Tex is the centre of the giant politician's supercollider... Yeah, that thing.

  7. croc

    "globalization" was a marketing tool for the book, movie and other entertainment industries to cover up their carving up the world's markets into neat, individualized slices. Even OS companies got into the act. Check out the price of any MS product in several parts of the world. Use a VPN to mask your IP and check out the cost of the same book in several parts of the world. Or the cost and list of content of, say Netflix... Biggest joke of all time, played by the cabals of the world on we suckers. Err, I mean consumers.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Quite!

      Big international companies are 'allowed' to shop around for the cheapest prices they can find anywhere in the world, while the consumers have to pay the local price.

  8. R.O.

    Humpty Dumpty sat on the Wall...

    Too many businesses put their manufacturing eggs in the China basket, blinded by exceedingly low but unnatural labor costs. Now, their eggs are getting scrambled by unstable politics.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Humpty Dumpty sat on the Wall...

      "Now, their eggs are getting scrambled by unstable politics."

      Beyond that, it really is a wildly different culture. Both socially and in a business sense. You might be getting parts from a vendor and they never seem to be shut for New Year. One year you can't get anybody to respond to any communication during that time. What that can mean is they had a good year so they are taking two weeks off. In previous years, they weren't doing so well and only took a day or two off. When that happens, they don't check emails, phone messages or even letters. If you didn't know about that, you could be in trouble and that's an easy one. Somewhere I have a book by a guy that acts as a liason in China for US companies. His book is full of examples of the differences in how things are done in China vs the US. Some of the pitfalls are downright scary.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. steelpillow Silver badge

    The Indian elephant in the room

    Globalisation may have taken a knock backwards, but of the famed BRIC economies, India is still looking forward to strong growth in its global trade, in both Asian and Western markets. The hit to China's exports is doing it no harm. And it has started making serious efforts to get into this waferfab thing. It's fair to say that globalisation it taking five, but on its deathbed? I don't think so.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The Indian elephant in the room

      The problem with India taking over from China is that India has historically been a much harder market to invest in. The government tends to make investing in the economy awkward and bureaucratic, as well as sometimes difficult to get your money out afterwards. Which isn't going to stop people buying goods made in India, but makes it less likely that foreign companies will invest heavily in building up manufacturing there.

      However a lot of companies are reassessing their committments in China. But that may just be a blip, and people may bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best. Or there may start to be big moves.

      The Chinese government are now starting to insist on board representation and Communist Party cells in local management, which with their legal system means if you invest there you are setting yourself up to end up losing control of that whole subsidiary in future. The Ukraine war and the whole pull-out from Russia has also been instructive.

      Nobody (except US and UK intelligence) believed Putin when he talked about Ukraine not being a real country and how it ought to be part of Russia. Right up until he invaded. Xi is saying similar things about Taiwan, while massively investing in the capabilities needed to conquer the place. Maybe we should at least consider believing he means it? In which case we can hopefully do things peacefully to avoid war, by a combination of persuasion and arming Taiwan, so it doesn't look worth it. But if that's Xi's real objective there's likely to be economic consequences that are might seriously effect trade with China. Hence building your entire business on trade with China is starting to look increasingly like a massive gamble with incalculable odds.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: The Indian elephant in the room

        "The government tends to make investing in the economy awkward and bureaucratic, as well as sometimes difficult to get your money out afterwards."

        Doesn't China suffer from the same problem (50% local partner, who knows how to extract profits)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: The Indian elephant in the room

          "Doesn't China suffer from the same problem (50% local partner, who knows how to extract profits)"

          Take what China requires of foreign companies and multiply by 12. India loves to stymie progress even more gleefully. It's a major sport of the elite.

          Pot growers in California are learning a similar lesson but the State is going to take many years longer. Being able to tax marijuana was going to be a huge boon up until the point where every level of government (city, county, state) was passing taxes on every step of the process from grow house to the stoner's lungs. California took what Colorado was doing, put it in brackets, added some new terms and squared the result.

          Getting money out of a country may require exporting product rather than cash. The company in-country is kept just barely in the black so the major portion of the added value is realized someplace else.

      2. Reginald O.

        Re: The Indian elephant in the room

        Neither China nor India can be trusted to provide a stable political, cultural or economic platform over the long haul. (Look how cozy India is with Russia right now.)

        One choice would be to invest in much smaller countries which would make it easier and cheaper to deal with their politicians, laws and criminals. I suspect there are several countries that might fill the bill, other than China or India. Eastern Europe comes to mind. Some of the island nations.

        OR, god forbid, bring back the most critical and cutting edge manufacturing to first world western economies with a firm commitment to capitalism, the rule of law and a stable political climate.

  11. Jonjonz

    The more of Chechnya Putin grabs, while the rest of the world gets hysterical and fails to act, the more likely China will grab Taiwan.

  12. Alan Brown Silver badge

    history repeating

    It was moves against free trade which led into WW1

    Specifically, British interests taking retaliatory action against Germany taking advantage of the existing free trade structures around 1860 which led the rather alarmed Germans to start building their own navy to protect their merchant fleet and increasing German militancy+nationalism

    Does this sound familiar in the context of the last few years?

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