As indicated by stories of government agents preventing domestic enterprises from shipping goods to China, the United States trade control restrictions on semiconductors are being excessively abused. The Biden administration is being criticized for violating international trade laws by improper export control mechanisms.

Such actions weaken international commerce rules, obstruct technical collaboration development, and represent a losing strategy for the Biden administration.

The US is breaking free trade and cooperative principles, which are essential for global integration, by maintaining its divisive and confrontational export control policy on semiconductors. The Biden administration’s purposeful escalation of the situation is nothing more than a self-serving tactic as American authorities encourage semiconductor manufacturers like Nvidia Corp to cease supplying cutting-edge computing processors to China due to potential hazards of military application. Such detrimental commercial methods inhibit technical collaboration.

Such policies are hurting global supply chains at a time when the international economy needs to be revived and resuscitated, which is ironic coming from a nation that prides itself on promoting multilateral trade and rules-based world order. However, the stated justification for enacting such regulations is to encourage more wealth around the world, which is far from reality. The reality is that these regulations are prohibiting other sovereign governments from conducting modern computing at a low cost for tasks that are essential for social and national development. Additionally, it impairs the legitimate rights and interests of China’s domestic corporate base, as the Chinese Commerce Ministry pointed out appropriately. Escalation strategies are gradually taking the role of healthy competition, which is bad news for fair competition norms and a fair marketplace.


The domestic export control mechanisms used by the US are likewise unsuccessful. New licensing requirements for exports to China are only one example of a restriction that will not work. The manufacturer of graphics chips, Nvidia, stated in a Securities and Exchange filing that it feared a massive loss of $400 million as a result of governmental restrictions and that its ability to produce H100 chips on schedule and provide support for A100 chip customers was being seriously jeopardized. Take note of how AMD, a Silicon Valley company, will likely experience restrictions on the Chinese market for its artificial intelligence chips. However, none of these domestic factors is taken into account while Washington continues to develop export control regulations. In reality, the US Commerce Department defends such measures by asserting that they are required to protect interests in foreign policy and national security. The issue is whether US foreign policy entails observing international trade laws or making attempts to boost the world economy. Recent patterns imply the opposite.

President Joe Biden, for instance, signed a $52.7 billion measure in August 2022 to provide subsidies for domestic semiconductor manufacture and research-related operations. Such help did, however, have requirements. Chip production cannot be increased or exported by semiconductor businesses to China, which is a flagrant breach of trade regulations. Such unilateral actions also entail building up one’s domestic industrial base while weakening others with rapacious regulations that prevent China’s base from operating. Hence, it should come as no surprise that the abuse of export control procedures by the Biden administration is being called out as a breach of international trade regulations. Such egocentric strategies will simply strengthen the perception that the United States is a dominant economic force, undermining rather than enhancing trust in international semiconductor cooperation.

The Biden administration is essentially adopting the leadership’s viewpoint of Tsai Ing-Wen, which entails politicizing the sector and dividing it into two factions, namely the “democratic” and the “authoritarian” camps. Such initiatives are founded on cold war ideologies that are permeating national policymaking and using sectors intended to advance global development as weapons to malign other countries. The Biden administration is unaware of how such unilateral actions disregard the reality that the world’s semiconductor supply chain is linked and how they might stifle international technical exchanges. Multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organization, must uphold these exchanges in law and spirit as fundamental principles.


Whether such trade control measures sustain the ideal of nonpartisan technical collaboration envisioned by proponents of free trade is the question. Most would agree that American policies are adding to the malaise. The Biden administration, which proudly promotes America as a supporter of free trade, is hurting it by enacting laws that have an impact on millions of individuals worldwide, many of whom support the idea of profiting from the free flow of semiconductors. A significant barrier to regional and worldwide connectedness is the mentality of questioning corporate potential, which is crucial for emerging nations. The majority of people would agree that the semiconductor sector is essential for the efficient operation of technology start-ups, without which any semblance of sane technical investments would become monotonous and onerous. The Chinese, who expose reckless competition for what it is and how tensions in the South China Sea are reflected in the face of international collaboration, are, as a result, fair in their mockery of the United States. This is not a formula for achievement.

Sadly, the United States is instead pursuing a self-serving and self-defeating strategy on semiconductor exports, not honoring such ideals in text and spirit. The sector is crucial for global growth, but Washington’s indifference is creating a significant barrier.

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