TOKYO – During the visit of US President Joe Biden to Japan and South Korea, the three countries are seeking understanding on the world stage. One place they find it is semiconductors.

The first stop for Biden during his first campaign through Asia as president was Samsung’s plant in South Korea.

“These little chips just a few nanometers thick are the key to the next era of human technological development,” Biden said Friday.

South Korea’s new president, Yun Suk Yol, said last weekend that he and Biden had “visited what can be called the ‘global epicenter’ of the advanced semiconductor industry. There, I was able to feel the strength of our economic and technological alliance.”

Chips are an integral part of everything from cars to home appliances, and they will play a significant role in the development of artificial intelligence and quantum technology. The leaders of the three countries avoid mentioning China when it comes to semiconductors, but export controls are also on the agenda.

“The main thing that interests investors [from Biden’s trip to Asia] it may be what they say about supply chains and semiconductors and how consistent they are with export controls for sensitive technologies to China and investment in the United States, ”said Michael J. Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan, chairman of the Center. strategic and strategic issues.International Studies.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raymond (center) met on Monday in Tokyo with Japanese Commerce Secretary Koichi Hagiuda. The two democracies are working to strengthen their union amid economic uncertainty around the world. US Ambassador to Japan Ram Emanuel on the left.

Ted Kemp | CNBC

On Monday, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raymond met with his Japanese counterpart Koichi Hagiuda in Tokyo. They discussed “cooperation in areas such as semiconductors and export controls,” according to a CNBC translation of a statement from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Japan and South Korea are longtime American allies, and both are technology hubs. But as of 2020, the two countries also have greater export relations with China than with the United States

US policy

To play a central role in geopolitics around semiconductors, the Biden administration recognizes that the United States needs to increase its economic importance in Asia.

It is expected that during his stay in Tokyo Biden will outline the details of the Indo-Pacific Economic Structure, an agreement that will focus on common standards of digital technology and supply chains.

However, the IPEF will not be a free trade deal.

Domestically, Biden has to deal with American voters, both on the left and on the right, who are suspicious of trade deals.

The United States has unveiled what was expected to be a massive free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the TPP, only to see its defeat by former President Donald Trump as soon as he takes office in 2017.

TPPs included twelve countries in the Asia-Pacific region, North America and South America.

Trump’s rival, President Hillary Clinton, said during the election campaign that she would also cancel the TTP, despite her personal work as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama.

After the United States undermined the TTP by unilaterally withdrawing, the remaining 11 countries embarked on a Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, to which China has formally applied.

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