By Trevor Hunnicutt
TOKYO (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris will meet on Wednesday in Japan with heads of semiconductor-related businesses as the Biden administration works to boost U.S. chips manufacturing, according to a senior administration official.
Harris will talk to the executives about incentives now available to invest semiconductor manufacturing within the United States following the August enactment of a law providing $52.7 billion in subsidies for the industry.
She is also expected to tout the benefits of those companies moving manufacturing hubs away from a dependence on single, low-cost countries like China to prevent disruptions.
U.S. President Joe Biden has prioritised building high-tech chips in an effort to preserve high-paying American jobs and counter the rising market dominance of China, who he views as Washington’s key strategic competitor.
The chips funding legislation was also designed to help to alleviate a persistent chips shortage that has prevented the manufacture and sale of everything from cars, weapons, washing machines and video games.
Those shortages have worsened U.S. consumer price inflation, which topped 8% on an annual basis in August.
Executives from at least 13 companies will attend, including Sanken Electric, Tokyo Electron, Hitachi High-Tech, Fujitsu and Nikon, according to another U.S. official who declined to be named previewing the meeting.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Louise Heavens)