Reply to post: Er, Strategic Policy?

Uncle Sam courting Intel, TSMC to build advanced chip fabs on home soil – report

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Er, Strategic Policy?

The sole reason why TSMC and it's Taiwanese peer companies are so good at semiconductor fabrication is because the Taiwanese quite rightly identified such expertise as being globally valuable and chose to become the best at it for geopolitical reasons. By being indispensable, no one (probably not even China) wants to upset the Taiwanese economy. Indeed, I recall years ago reading a column that reported that the Taiwanese self defence policy (publicly stated) was, "to blow up the semicon fabs the moment a Chinese solidier's boot sets foot on a Taiwanese beach".

I think it highly, highly unlikely that Taiwan is going to let that expertise go to the USA. Partly because the USA signed up to agreements regarding helping guarantee Taiwanese security but then failed to fulfill them (something about supplying diesel subs I remember).

Another country missing from this debate is Japan. Quite a lot of fab machinery is actually Japanese designed and manufactured. They may not be in the business of actually running large scale fabs, but I bet they could if they really wanted to. Given that Japan is another country recently to have become wary about the certainty of US security guarantees (Trump said "I'm bring the troops home, the Japanese have had free security for far too long", ignoring the fact that Japan pays for US forces to be based in their country), I can't see them being especially keen to let the US develop an independent domestic capability either.

It sounds like the US is saying, "give us something for free". I don't think it's going to be handed over on silver plate, wrapped in gift paper and tied up with a ribbon.

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