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New restrictions on Huawei increase tension between the United States and China

With the escalation of tension in the trade war between the United States and China, there are already entities pointing out some collateral damage. The president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, John Neuffer, who represents the chip makers, says that the new rules imposed by Donald Trump create disruption and uncertainty in the global semiconductor distribution chain. Even so, he says that the new measures seem less harmful than those that were previously considered. He says that these focus mainly on Huawei, which remains dependent on American designs for its smartphones and tablets, and on their respective suppliers.

It is recalled that Donald Trump continues to consider Huawei and ZTE as dangerous, having proceeded with the extension of business restrictions with Chinese companies until May 2021. In a statement released this Friday, quoted by the New York Times, the Department of United States trade says that Huawei tried to circumvent previous restrictions using American software and technology to produce its own semiconductors, as well as the acquisition of products from factories around the world that use American equipment.

There was a very technical issue in the previous restrictions, which allowed Huawei to effectively use American technology with its foreign suppliers, says the secretary of American trade, Wilbur Ross, in an interview with Fox Business. The new measures now aim to correct these technical flaws, so that American factories are able to compete on equal footing with those outside the United States, he adds.

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse goes further, saying that the United States needs to strangle Huawei cited by the New York Times, considering that modern wars are fought with semiconductors and that they were leaving Huawei to use American designs. This is very simple: chip makers that depend on American technology cannot go to bed with the Chinese Communist Party.

The measures come in the aftermath of United States support for semiconductor manufacturers who decide to build new factories on American soil, such as Intel, Samsung and TSMC. A few days later, TSMC itself announced its intention to build a factory in the State of Arizona, with an investment that could reach US $ 12 billion. The construction will be subsidized by the US government and should start in 2021. Production is expected to start in 2024.

This "enticement" TSMC raises doubts whether the Taiwanese company has any kind of exception in the limitations on the supply of Huawei components. The American executive says that the company has received no guarantee except for the imposed measures. On the manufacturer's side, it is said that the decision to build the factory was based only on the needs of its business, and not as part of an agreement to alleviate trade sanctions.