U.S. investments in foreign chips firms a potential concern, White House says By Reuters

Central banks will fail to tame inflation without better fiscal policy, study says By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees work at a production line manufacturing chips inside a factory of an electronics company in Chizhou, Anhui province, China March 21, 2018. Picture taken March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

By Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. investment in foreign chip companies is a potential concern for the Biden administration, a White House official said on Wednesday, but stressed that it has not yet made a final decision on a potential mechanism regulating U.S. investments in China.

Speaking at an Atlantic Council event on Wednesday, National Security Council official Peter Harrell heralded the administration’s efforts to kick-start U.S. chipmaking with $52 billion in subsidies through a recent law and its export control policies, which have sought to curb shipments of specialized chips and chipmaking tools to China.

But, he argued, “It’s important to consider whether and how certain narrowly targeted categories of U.S. investment in foreign competitor semiconductor firms might undermine the effectiveness of these other policy tools,” Harrell said.

Sources familiar with the matter say the White House has been working on an executive order that would allow the U.S. government to review and block certain American investments in high-tech sectors abroad, especially in China, which could harm U.S. national security.

The order, which may be published as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, took on new importance after a similar measure was dropped from the legislation subsidizing the chip industry earlier this year.

Harrell, who plans to step down from his role as soon as next month, stressed that any measure targeting U.S. investments abroad should be narrowly tailored to address gaps in existing U.S. authorities and specific national security risks.

He also said the Biden administration was in touch with allies who have already implemented similar regimes.

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