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Harris Says Japan Plays ‘Critical Role’ in Chips Supply Chain

(Bloomberg) -- Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that Japan plays a “critical role” in building resilient supply chains for chips, as she sought to rally allies in Asia to build redundancies for strategic purposes.

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Harris hosted a roundtable with business leaders, which gave her a chance to tout a new law aimed at boosting competitiveness with China that authorizes $52 billion for US semiconductor research and manufacturing.

“We have to diversify our reliance on essential supplies, Japan and United States and the world,” Harris said. “We also understand, on this issue, that no one country can satisfy the globe’s demand. But it is important that we and our allies partner in a way that allows us to grow, and in a way that allows us to function at a very practical level.”

The vice president’s four-day visit to Japan and South Korea is intended to shore up economic and national security ties between the U.S. and Asian allies. A new so-called chip alliance between the US, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan held its first working-level pre-meeting on Tuesday, the Seoul Economic Daily reported, citing unidentified people in industry.

Earlier: Biden Signs Chips Bill, Unleashing Funding for US Production

A senior administration official said Harris’s discussion with business leaders was focused on the benefits of the new chip policies not just to the US but to its trading partners as well.

Companies participating in the meeting were expected to include Tokyo Electron Ltd., Nikon Corp., Advantest Corp., Hitachi High-Tech Corp., Lasertec Corp., Sanken Electric Co., Showa Denko KK, Toyo Gosei Co., Fujitsu Ltd. and Micron Technology Inc., according to the White House.

The senior administration official said Harris planned to talk to the CEOs about fresh investment in manufacturing in the US, supply-chain resilience and using the new law to bolster US collaboration with Japan and other allies.

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