WASHINGTON Jan 6 A blue-ribbon presidential
panel on science recommended on Friday that the United States
take steps to defend its dominance of the high-end semiconductor
market against a stiff Chinese challenge.
The report follows plans by China to use a massive, $150
billion government investment in its semiconductor industry to
expand the share of Chinese-made integrated circuits in the
domestic market from its current 9 percent. Semiconductor chips
are used in everything from computers to automobiles.
The President's Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology said the United States needed new tools to ensure
China did not replace the United States as the leader in making
high-end semiconductors that are key to national defense.
The report urged policy-makers to "respond forcefully" if
Chinese economic policies, such as subsidies aimed at building
Chinese expertise in semiconductors, limit the access of U.S.
companies or thwart U.S. exports.
"The main goal here should be to deter dangerous Chinese
actions," the report said.
Tools that could be used include the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency panel
led by the Treasury Department that assesses Chinese investment
to ensure it does not harm U.S. national security, the panel
Concern about China is one of the few areas where the
administration of President Barack Obama and President-elect
Donald Trump's incoming team appear to agree.
In November, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said
the United Stated would not accept China's "$150 billion
industrial policy designed to appropriate this industry."
Under Obama, CFIUS stopped a series of Chinese acquisitions
of high-end chip makers. Last month, he upheld a recommendation
by CFIUS to block Aixtron's 670 million euro ($717
million) sale to Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund over national
Last January, CFIUS prevented the sale by Philips
of its U.S. lighting business to GO Scale Capital, made up of
GSR Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Asia Pacific Resource
Development and Nanchang Industrial Group.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bill Trott)