U.S. Official Says Chinese Seizure Of TSMC In Taiwan Would Be ‘Absolutely Devastating’

Pic: Reuters

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and seizure of chips producer TSMC would be “absolutely devastating” to the American economy.

Asked at a US House hearing about the impact, Raimondo said “it would be absolutely devastating,” declining to comment on how or if it will happen, adding: “Right now, the United States buys 92 per cent of its leading edge chips from TSMC in Taiwan.”

TSMC declined to comment.

Last month, Raimondo announced the Commerce Department would award TSMC’s US unit a US$6.6 billion subsidy for its most advanced semiconductor production in Phoenix, Arizona and up to US$5 billion in low-cost government loans.

TSMC agreed to expand its planned investment by US$25 billion to US$65 billion and to add a third Arizona fab by 2030, Commerce said in announcing the preliminary award.

The Taiwanese company will produce the world’s most advanced 2 nanometer technology at its second Arizona fab expected to begin production in 2028, the department said.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major supplier to Apple and Nvidia had previously announced plans to invest US$40 billion in Arizona. TSMC expects to begin high-volume production in its first US fab there by the first half of 2025, Commerce said.

Congress in 2022 approved the Chips and Science Act to boost domestic semiconductor output with US$52.7 billion in research and manufacturing subsidies to wean the United States from reliance on Asia for chips. Lawmakers also approved US$75 billion in government loan authority.

A 2023 US government paper estimated a major manufacturing disruption in Taiwan could lead to as high as a 59 per cent increase in the US price of logic chips that domestic downstream producers would have to pay. — Reuters

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