Input 2021.02.24 10:40
Close cooperation with Australia to reduce dependence on Chinese rare earths
In the EV battery field, measures in connection with LG and Panasonic are likely to be prepared.
Japan joins the initiative of the US’ China Isolation… Attention to the rise of the Korean government
US President Joe Biden is expected to “isolate China” by strengthening the industrial alliance front with allies in Asia such as Korea, Japan and Taiwan. As China is growing political and economic hegemony not only in the Asian market, but also in Europe, including the’One Belt One Road’ project, it is interpreted as a hardline measure to suppress its influence by excluding China from the high-tech parts supply chain.
According to a document obtained by the Nippon Geizai Shimbun on the 24th, President Biden will strengthen ties with allies and establish a national strategy within this month to rebuild a supply chain of core materials and parts covering semiconductors, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, etc. It is a policy of signing a presidential decree ordering them to do so.
In particular, the Nihon Geizai newspaper interpreted that one of the important goals is to limit China‘s share of the global semiconductor market by limiting China‘s semiconductor production capacity and technological capabilities, which have been crying out for a long time. In particular, the roles of Korea and Taiwan, the world‘s largest semiconductor producers, are important in this process.
Accordingly, this presidential decree encloses a plan to establish a system in which the United States, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan share information on the supply chain of important materials and parts related to semiconductors, supplement production items, and quickly lend and lend in an emergency. It also discusses ways to secure additional production capacity and stockpile between allies. In the process, the newspaper said the United States may ask its allies to reduce its dealings with China.
The reason why the United States has taken such a hard line against China in relation to semiconductors is that the current production capacity of semiconductors in the United States is significantly lower than that of major Asian countries. According to the American Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the U.S. share of global semiconductor production capacity declined significantly from 37% in 1990 to 12% in 2020. During the same period, Asian countries such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and China now account for 80% of the world‘s semiconductor production capacity.
In addition, the high-tech semiconductor production capacity is a pivotal factor not only in industry, but also in aerospace, aviation, and military technology. Semiconductor Engineering, a US semiconductor magazine, pointed out, “Since cutting-edge semiconductor technology plays a key role in various fields such as stealth fighters, air traffic control, and guided missiles, the weakening of semiconductor manufacturing competitiveness will lead to a decline in technology related to national security.” .
In addition, as major automakers in the U.S. stopped operating due to the recent shortage of semiconductors for automobiles, the U.S. is in a position to focus on its relationship with Taiwan’s TSMC. The U.S. previously agreed to host a factory of TSMC, the world‘s largest semiconductor consignment manufacturing (foundry) company, in Arizona, and recently, the White House personally came to discuss solving the automotive semiconductor problem through consultations with TSMC and the Taiwanese government. did.
Rare-earths, which the US relies on about 80% of China‘s levels, have already begun a move to exclude China. Nihon Geizai in particular diagnosed that the US is attempting to’de-China‘ by using Australia and Asian countries. Australian producer Linus is building a plant in Texas with funding from the US Department of Defense. In the field of electric vehicle batteries, where Chinese companies are ranked No. 1 in the world, measures in connection with LG Chem and Panasonic are expected to be prepared.
The Japanese government is expected to actively participate in such initiatives by the United States, the Nippon Geizai Shimbun predicted. The newspaper cited an official from the Japanese government, saying, “Japan is also in sync with the movement of the semiconductor alliance envisioned by the United States,” and said, “Through this initiative, Japan will also be able to secure future-oriented semiconductor technology.”