Sanctions were always going to do more harm than good
From day one it was crystal clear to all onlookers and analysts that sanctions were a one shot wonder, with that sole bullet cruising straight into the collective head of the US administration.
Mr Maga Trump used to Tweet anything and everything that popped into his head (until he was banned). One such tweet contained the famous 'not on my watch' statement.
He didn't give a hoot about who would actually have to deal with the consequences of his actions.
So what are those consequences? The exact same ones that have been laid out over and over again by key industry figures and analysts.
1. Severe and permanent harm to US semiconductor interests. The semiconductor association (representing over 1,000 US companies) wrote to the White House warning of the perils. Lost revenues which are needed for future R&D. The Pentagon even briefly stepped in to halt a Trump executive order - on national security grounds. The irony!
2. De-americanisation. Again this is ironic. To reduce the financial impact of the 'sanctions' on US companies, licences would be required. This led to complaints from sovereign nations who were impacted by restrictions imposed on them because their products just happened to contain US technology elements. To make matters worse, in one of the more recent rounds of restrictions, those allied sovereign nations were not even notified of the new restrictions. That anger floated to the surface as companies complained that US companies had an unfair advantage through licences. 'America First!'. Many analysts believe that De-americanisation is currently underway to free non-American companies from the shackles of US weaponised sanctions. Most estimates put the process as taking around 5 years from design change, testing and implementation. Around 2024.
3. Chinese retaliation. China has bided it's time so far. It hasn't really used its sanctions busting laws and other moves (raw material restrictions, Micron etc) have not been very intense. That could change at any moment and Apple is likely a key candidate for some China love.
4. Chinese Betterment. Far from slowing Chinese progress down, sanctions have turbo charged the entire Chinese semiconductor industry, pushing it ever more closely towards self sufficiency. That was always the goal anyway (just like the EU). It will just be pushed harder. Huawei is the nexus of basically everything. For every single restriction imposed on it, measures have been initiated to overcome them. It has invested in companies across the entire chip manufacturing process. Literally every single step and is pushing out patents as its R&D setup works overtime. We are talking lithography, photoresist, etching, EDA, packaging etc.
China has just announced a new 40 billion dollar plan dedicated to realising its goals. It doesn't matter just how far away they are from final products. The point is that, as a result of sanctions and technology weaponisation it will all happen far, far faster than anyone ever imagined.
It won't be on 'Trump's watch' but he might have to watch everything play out from his cell in the not too distant future.
I'm sure a fair amount of moderates are regretting letting the Hawks do so much damage but the genie is out of the bottle now and there's no getting it back in. That ship sailed, the bullet has been fired. The damage has been done.
The BRICS and DSR will surely be waiting to lap up whatever non-US technology starts rolling out.