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In Manila, Raimondo Promises Chip Fabs and More Curbs on China

While pledging billion-dollar investments in Manila, Raimondo said the US was constantly looking at ways to expand chip curbs against China and restrict its tech progress

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo poses for a photo next to Philippine President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr during an official event in Manila
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo poses for a photo next to Philippine President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr during an official event in Manila on Monday. Image: Gina Raimonodo / X


US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo raised the ante against China this week, as she announced billion-dollar investments in the Philippines, while hinting at expanding chip curbs against its key rival.

In a meeting with Philippine business leaders, Raimondo said Manila was key to efforts by US businesses to diversify their semiconductor supply chain as they realised it was “way too concentrated in just a few countries.”

“The Philippines already has 13 semiconductor assembly, testing, and packaging facilities. Let’s double it,” Raimondo was quoted as saying by Philippine newspaper the Manila Bulletin.


Also on AF: Japan ‘Not Planning’ to Widen China Chip Curbs Despite US Push


Raimondo’s push in the Philippines comes amid a bitter tech war between the US and China, which has seen Washington cut off flows of advanced chips and chipmaking equipment to the world’s biggest chip market.

Speaking to reporters in Manila on Monday, Raimondo said the US was constantly looking at ways to expand those chip curbs and restrict China’s tech progress.

“We look at this every single day… Technology is changing faster than ever, which means we have to wake up every day and ask ourselves, ‘are we doing enough?’” Raimondo was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

“My job is to protect the American people and to make sure that our most sophisticated technology, including semiconductor technology, artificial intelligence technology that we have and China doesn’t have, that they can’t access it and use it to enable the Chinese military,” Raimondo added.

China, meanwhile, has consistently criticised US efforts to hobble its chip industry. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington was ‘clinging to misconceptions’ about China and Washington’s sanctions were “reaching bewildering levels of unfathomable absurdity.”

“The challenge for the US comes from itself, not from China. If the US is obsessed with suppressing China, it will eventually harm itself.”


CHIPS Act ‘friendshoring’

On Monday, Raimondo also promised investments worth $1 billion in the Philippines, in key tech areas including solar energy, electric vehicles and digitisation.



Raimondo’s investment bonanza in the Philippines follows similar moves by Washington in Vietnam, where US President Joe Biden signed off on billions of dollars worth of deals in chips and artificial intelligence.

During Biden’s trip in September, the US vowed to support Vietnam in everything from setting up chip fabs to training tech talent necessary to elevate the Southeast Asian nation’s semiconductor capabilities.

Both the Philippines and Vietnam are close US allies, and thus, key to Washington’s ‘friendshoring’ efforts that are aimed at cutting off its reliance on Chinese supply chains.

Those efforts include Washington’s $52.7 billion CHIPS Act funding — part of which is destined to support chip-related infrastructure in allied nations like the Philippines and Vietnam.

Philippine President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr said on Monday the CHIPS Act will help the country “churn out a robust talent pool of 128,000 semiconductor engineers and technicians by the year 2028.”

US support for Philippines also comes at a time when the Philippines is engaged in a bitter diplomatic spat with China over disputed waters in the South China Sea. Last week, China said the US was using the Philippines as a “pawn” to “destabilise the South China Sea.”

“The Philippines also needs to refrain from being manipulated by the United States,” it added.


  • Vishakha Saxena


Also read:


China Aims for Self Sufficiency in Emerging Tech, AI, Big Data


Vietnam Chip Engineer Shortage May Spoil US Plan to Rival China


Rare Earth Magnet Firms Plan Vietnam Plants as China Hedge


US and Vietnam to Hold Regular Economic Talks, Lift Tech Ties


US and India Sign Deals on Chips, Tech, Space and Defence


Huawei, SMIC Set to Defy US Sanctions With 5nm Chips: FT


China Way Ahead of US in Chip Startup Funding – PitchBook


China’s Secret Drive to ‘Delete America’ From Its Tech – WSJ



Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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