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Chips and Chains:

Semiconductors Global Supply Chain | Mainstage

Programming Partner:Purdue e1635270763613 - Chips and Chains: Semiconductors Global Supply Chain | Mainstage


Bonnie Glick, Leader, Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University
Senator Todd Young, R-Indiana
Mung Chiang, Founding Director, Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University, Engineering Dean and Executive Vice President, Purdue University

The U.S. is moving from defense to offense on China, Senator Todd Young, Republican of Indiana explained. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021—formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act, sponsored by Senator Young and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)—intended to encourage, extend, and leverage bipartisan investment to secure supply chain vulnerabilities, as we have seen during the recent semiconductor shortage.

One organization poised to benefit is Purdue University’s new Center for Tech Diplomacy. Bonnie Glick, Leader of the Center, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic uncovered vulnerabilities in the semiconductor supply chain. The U.S. historically manufactured 37% of the world’s semiconductors, but it now only creates 12%. At the same time, the U.S. maintains its position at the highest end of research and development. She suggested a multi-pronged approach that combines onshoring and near-shoring with offshoring and repositions the U.S. to play a crucial role with its partners.

Semiconductor supply chains snake around the world, Mung Chiang, Founding Director of the Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University and Engineering Dean and Executive Vice President, explained. It is not possible to move the entire chain within the U.S. but partnering with like-minded nations makes sense. Supply chains require reliability and democracies are our most trusted partners.

This approach goes beyond industrial policy, Chiang continued. It is important for national and economic security to level the playing field. It also allows the industry to value workers’ rights and the economy. Glick reiterated that technology and innovation are parts of national security. To that end, the Center intends to focus on the intersection of technology, diplomacy, and international relations.

Our legislation shifts America’s posture from defense to offense when it comes to China.

Senator Todd Young

Technology and innovation has come out of the back office.

Bonnie Glick

First, it’s about national security and economic security. And second, it’s about leveling the playing field.

Mung Chiang

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The supply chain based outside of the U.S., particularly for semiconductors, is a strategic vulnerability. Shoring up the weaknesses by moving more of the manufacturing process to the U.S. and its allies will strengthen national security.
  • Follow this conversation in future Concordia programming, to include the Indo-Pacific Initiative, taking place November 9.