U.S. funds will boost global semiconductor supplies, secure info tech

The U.S. Department of State will spend $500 million to stabilize and expand global semiconductor manufacturing, secure semiconductor supply chains, and develop and deploy secure and trustworthy information and communications technology (ICT).

The department’s International Technology Security and Innovation Fund (ITSI) will be spread over five years in $100 million allotments, starting in fiscal year 2023. The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the $280 billion package that President Biden signed into law in August 2022, released the money that powers new initiatives with American allies and partners.

Microchips, also known as semiconductors, are essential to smartphones, the internet, cars, the electric grid, national security, NASA’s moon mission and more, President Biden said in September 2022.

Semiconductors and telecommunications networks are important sectors of the global economy. To support U.S. semiconductor fabrication and reliable, secure access to finished microchips, the United States will collaborate with partners and allies to ensure all components of the semiconductor supply chain are diversified, resilient and secure.

ITSI provides resources that help the United States deepen its cooperation with allies and partners to ensure that the technologies of the future will reinforce shared economic and national security. The money will also boost the State Department’s Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, which — with American partners and allies — helps countries enjoy the benefit of a vibrant digital economy with secure and trustworthy ICT infrastructure and services. The funding will cover three areas:

  • Helping countries develop policy and regulatory frameworks that ensure security is a central decisionmaking factor in ICT procurement.
  • Leveraging financing, lowering investment risk and other tools to promote private sector investments in secure ICT networks.
  • Working to provide cybersecurity tools and services to improve partner countries’ ability to defend against cybersecurity threats.
Computer processor chip on circuit board (© Zoomik/Shutterstock.com)
(© Zoomik/Shutterstock.com)

Although the semiconductor was invented in the United States, many American companies have moved manufacturing jobs overseas, President Biden said. The U.S. depends on East Asia for 75% of global product manufacturing capacity.

“Folks, we need to make these chips right here in America to bring down everyday costs and create good jobs,” Biden said.

The act will also boost American manufacturing, supply chains and national security, while investing in research and development, science and technology and the future workforce to keep the United States leading tomorrow’s industries.

Industry leaders are choosing the United States, Biden said, “because they see America is back and America is leading the way.”

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