Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains: An Affirmative Agenda for International Cooperation

Technological innovation has been a driving force for U.S. global leadership and economic prosperity for over a century. This legacy of innovation largely stands on the foundation of a key component: semiconductor chips, found today in almost all electronic products. Semiconductors are an integral component of various consumer products across industries, including cars, smartphones, and household appliances. But semiconductors can also be used in dual-use goods—products that have both military and civilian applications—such as air guidance systems for both civilian and military aircraft. The tension between economic gain and security risk inherent within dual-use semiconductor goods is heightened in fields with national security implications, such as supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI). How the government and private sector manage the global value chains (GVCs) of chips will directly affect U.S. global competitiveness and national security going forward. Given the evolving security relationship between the United States, the Quad, and the European Union, this paper focuses on both Quad and EU countries and the possibilities for friend-shoring in both. It assesses how the EU and U.S. governments can collaborate to avoid duplicative policies that fail to enhance the overall resiliency of transatlantic semiconductor supply chains.

This report was made possible by support from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and Qualcomm.

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Emily Benson

Emily Benson

Former Director, Project on Trade and Technology and Former Senior Fellow, Scholl Chair in International Business
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Aidan Arasasingham

Aidan Arasasingham

Former Research Associate, Economics Program