Chips: the new arms race

“Whereas during the ‘cold war’ between the US and the Soviet Union, nuclear weapons and the potential of mutually assure destruction created some sort of balanced truce that avoided outright conflict, in this ‘cold war’ between the US and China, there is no balance, but instead an unlimited race.”

Michael Roberts Blog

On December 6, US president Joe Biden joined Morris Chang, founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in Arizona for a symbolic “tool-in” ceremony to mark the latest step in the chipmaker’s investment in a new factory in the US. TSMC is tripling its previously planned investment at its new Arizona plant to $40 billion, among the largest foreign investments in US history, as President Joe Biden visited and hailed the project.

TSMC is the leading hi-tech chipmaker in the world, with both China and the US importing their products to process their manufactures.  TSMC has become the battleground between the US and China in world trade and technology – with the added intensity of Taiwan being the hotspot for geopolitical conflict between the rising economic power of China and the (relative decline) of US dominance globally.

It is in this context that economic historian Chris Miller’s book Chip…

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