Asia St: US Chip Supply Challenge is a Case for Strong Taiwan Ties

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US Chip Supply Challenge is a Case for Strong Taiwan Ties

March 5, 2021

Image: Wikimedia Commons

BGA Taiwan Managing Director Rupert Hammond-Chambers wrote a recent commentary in The Wall Street Journal on the computer chip supply issue experienced by American auto makers and how the challenge is a case for stronger ties with Taiwan, rather than casting blame on the U.S. ally. The piece, titled “A Chip Problem of Detroit’s Own Making,” was published on March 4.

In the commentary, Hammond-Chambers argued that despite attempts by some U.S. lawmakers to blame Taiwanese chip manufacturers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the chip supply shortage in the American automobile industry is primarily of its own making since the projected drop in demand for vehicles was less than what had been anticipated. Beyond the validity of individual claims, attempts to pressure companies to change legally binding contracts in the interest of preferred business sectors like autos also raise serious concerns about the nature of international commerce and the laws that govern it.

In the piece, Hammond-Chambers, an expert on Taiwanese political and economic issues as well as defense and security issues who also concurrently leads the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, also added that blaming Taiwan’s companies for U.S. domestic issues ignores the helpful role they can play as the United States seeks to increase production. TSMC’s commitment to building a plant in Phoenix could help provide the basis for expanded domestic chip production, and developments such as these also reinforce the necessity of binding Taiwan’s technology and security closer to the United States to ensure the critical sector remains within the orbit of U.S. national interests.

You can read the full commentary on The Wall Street Journal website here. Hammond-Chambers has also weighed in regularly on other developments that relate to the supply and demand of chips, be it legislative efforts such as the authorized CHIPS for America Act and the dynamics of intensifying U.S.-China competition, and the BGA Taiwan team as well as the company more generally will continue to monitor such developments as they occur on behalf of our clients.