US, EU to cooperate on chip supply chain resiliency

The US and EU said May 16 they will cooperate on efforts to strengthen the global semiconductor chip supply chain, which has hindered manufacturing in multiple industries since early 2021, as part of a collaborative agenda tied to their joint Trade and Technology Council.

The two governments said they would “work towards guiding principles, complementary and joint actions, and cooperation to mitigate risks and to advance the resilience of US and EU supply chains, while confirming our commitment to avoid unnecessary barriers to trade, which could negatively affect the production or export opportunities of the United States and European Union,” according to a statement.

These actions will proceed “in recognition of the positive contribution of transatlantic trade to resilient supply chains, and of our shared vulnerabilities to critical supply chains for semiconductors, critical minerals, clean energy and pharmaceuticals,” they added.

To achieve a stronger chip supply chain, the US and EU said they will promote private sector efforts to increase transparency in the semiconductor value chain, enhance cooperation to provide early warning of semiconductor shortages and work “to avoid subsidy races” by advancing common goals for incentives.

The agenda released by the Trade and Technology Council also outlined plans for addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, international trade, responsible technology deployment and cybersecurity, among other issues.

The US-EU Trade and Technology Council is chaired by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The focus on the semiconductor supply chain complements a string of previous efforts enacted by the US under the Biden administration to bolster chip supplies.

The US Commerce Department and the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry said May 11 they signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen semiconductor supply chain resiliency and promote sustainable growth.

The White House and US lawmakers have also continued to press Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which includes $52 billion in investments to promote new domestic semiconductor production capacity.

— Nick Lazzaro