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Joe Biden starts to campaign on AI

On May 8, Joe Biden spoke at Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wisconsin. The president was bragging.

Six years after his predecessor, Donald Trump, visited the same city to boast of Taiwanese tech company Foxconn’s $10 billion plan to bring a LCD manufacturing plant to Racine — that never materialized — Biden chose the same site for a new high-tech manufacturing project of his own. Microsoft will invest $3.3 billion to build a new data center to support artificial intelligence, a project that the company says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and 2,300 union construction jobs to Wisconsin.

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US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announces a major grant at the Samsung semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas, on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Jay Janner / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters

Samsung hands Biden another chip win

The Biden administration is busy courting global semiconductor manufacturers to build stateside, recently handing billions to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to expand its chip fabrication plant in Phoenix, Arizona.

On Monday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced that the Biden administration is giving out another award as part of its CHIPS Act budget — this time to TSMC competitor Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant. Samsung will receive $6.4 billion to put toward its new manufacturing hub in Taylor, Texas, and expand its existing plant in Austin. In return, Samsung will pour $45 billion into its US projects and commit to producing cutting-edge two-nanometer chips.

Biden has made so-called silicon nationalism a tenet of his economic and national security-focused public policy, desperate to control the slow but crucial supply of chips used for everyday technologies as well as new artificial intelligence applications.

Semiconductor chips on a circuit board.

Florence Lo/Illustration/Reuters

Crunch time for chipmakers

The Biden administration wants to supercharge US chip manufacturing, which is why the 2022 CHIPS Act allotted $280 billion for the domestic chipmaking sector. But Republicans in Congress just halted a key provision of the administration’s plan.

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Paige Fusco

Biden enlists Japan & Netherlands to fight US-China chips war

Japan and the Netherlands have reportedly agreed to join US export controls to stop China from getting the machines to make some of the world’s most advanced semiconductors — in part, the Biden administration claims, to make high-tech weapons. It's a major milestone in the broader US push to beat China in the race to dominate global tech with "weapons" such as the $52 billion CHIPS Act, which aims to subsidize domestic chipmaking in America and make it harder for China to access the tech.

We learn more from Eurasia Group's senior analyst Nick Reiners.

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A researcher wearing cleanroom suit displaying a wafer in the lab of Shanghai Microsemi Semiconductor Co., Ltd. in Shanghai, China.


Who’s winning the war over chips?

When it comes to semiconductor production, there’s just one superpower: Taiwan. The self-governing island produces more than two-thirds of the world’s chips, and almost all of the advanced ones.

But with Taiwan’s geopolitical fate uncertain, both Washington and Beijing are racing to build their own dominance and self-sufficiency in the chip industry.

We sat down with Eurasia Group geo-technology expert Xiaomeng Lu to learn more about where this battle is heading. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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