US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) threatened government funding for chipmaker Intel after the company presented what Rubio described as a “humiliating apology” to China.
Intel apologized to its Chinese partners and the Chinese public last December after indicating in a routine letter to suppliers that it would not use “labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region ”. This stipulation is required by US law as part of trade sanctions against China for its continued persecution of the Uyghur population of the Xinjiang region (which the US government has called genocide). Intel’s letter to suppliers, however, has gone viral in China and sparked a huge public backlash against the company.
As first reported by The edge Intel not only issued a public apology last year, but also removed all references to Xinjiang from its website. Asked about the deletion, Intel senior director of corporate communications William Moss said The edge: “We have modified some terms based on stakeholder concerns to focus on broadly and globally applicable principles and policies, in accordance with our general practice. “
In response to Intel’s actions, Rubio released a statement on Monday:
“Intel’s cowardice is another predictable consequence of the economic dependence on China. Instead of humiliating apologies and self-censorship, companies should shift their supply chains to countries that do not use slave labor or commit genocide. If companies like Intel continue to obscure the facts about US law just to appease the Chinese Communist Party, then they should not be eligible for any funding under the CHIPS Act.
The CHIPS Act is a reaction to the global semiconductor shortage and the declining ability of the United States to manufacture these vital components. CHIPS was enacted last year as part of the annual Military Funding Bill (the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA), with the Senate authorizing $ 52 billion in federal investment for “research. , the design and manufacture of domestic semiconductors ”. However, this funding is only speculative at this time, as despite broad bipartisan support, the legislation is currently blocked in Congress. This means that Rubio’s threat to Intel is, in and of itself, only hypothetical.