Last Week: GOP To Review Export Controls Enforcement, Citing China Concerns

House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo for documents on the implementation of certain export controls. “The United States needs a whole-of-government approach to protect sensitive and military-useful technology from foreign adversaries, such as the People’s Republic of China,” McCaul wrote in the letter.

  • What’s next: McCaul is renewing earlier requests to Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and will conduct a 90-day review of the agency’s processes. McCaul wrote, “a principal objective for this review is to determine if the Department of Commerce should continue to lead implementation of the export control system.”

What We’re Watching: US Eyes Strategic Sector Strategies and Partnership Models

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) published a request for information (RFI) on current and planned local and regional sector strategies and partnership models, particularly those that address the workforce needs of specific industry sectors within a local or regional labor market through a strategic sector partnership.

  • Why it matters: This RFI aims to grow ETA and partner agencies’ understanding of effective sector strategies through the experiences of key stakeholders in local and regional economies. This knowledge can benefit the federal government’s efforts to prepare for the current and future training needs in critical industries, such as (1) advanced manufacturing (including semiconductor manufacturing), (2) information technology and cybersecurity, (3) transportation infrastructure modernization, (4) healthcare, and (5) clean energy and energy resilience.

ICYMI: Chips Chatter in Davos

  1. Liesje Schreinemacher, Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, said “we need open trade,” adding, “I know this is under a lot of pressure internationally, but I will be fighting for open trade and to prevent protectionism.”
    • “Friendshoring”: Schreinemacher acknowledged that both the U.S. and the EU already have initiatives on chips and pointed out that the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) could be a platform for the two to work together, because “it’s not only reshoring when it comes to the production of chips but also the friendshoring,” she said.
  2. Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s Communications Minister, said India aims to become a key semiconductor supplier to the world. According to Vaishnaw, India has a very large market that requires semiconductor and significant potential in terms of infrastructure, talent pool, and technology.
  3. Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, said his country will be a key partner in the global supply chain, in part because Korea boasts top-notch production technologies and manufacturing capabilities in semiconductors, rechargeable batteries, steelmaking, and biotechnology.