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US trade chief warns of Chinese ‘threat’

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Saturday urged lawmakers, Silicon Valley and U.S. allies to prevent China from obtaining semiconductors and advanced technologies critical to national security.

Speaking at an annual national defense forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo called Beijing “the greatest threat we’ve ever had” and stressed that “China is not our friend.”

The world’s two largest economies are locked in a fierce trade and geopolitical rivalry, in which his ministry plays a leading role.

In October, Raimondo unveiled a series of restrictions on the export of advanced chips to China, including those used in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), to prevent their use by Beijing for its military.


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“I know there are some chip company CEOs in this audience who were a little grumpy with me when I did this, because you’re losing revenue. Such is life, protecting our national security matters more than short-term revenue.

“News flash: democracy is good for your businesses. The rule of law here and around the world is good for your businesses,” she said.

Raimondo noted that Nvidia, maker of the most sophisticated chips needed to develop the latest generation of AI, had developed a product whose performance was just below the limit set by his department for export to China.

“That’s what the industry does,” she acknowledged, but added: “It’s not productive. »

US further restricts China’s access to AI chips to hamper military development

“Every day, China wakes up trying to find a way to get around our export controls… which means every minute of every day, we have to wake up to tightening those controls and being more serious about it. “enforcing our controls with our allies,” she said. .

Raimondo stressed that his department needs better funding to carry out its mission.

“I have a budget of $200 million. That’s like the cost of a few fighter jets. Come on, she said. “Let’s get this operation funded the way it needs to be funded so that we can do it, we have to do it to protect America.”

“America leads the world in artificial intelligence… America leads the world in advanced semiconductor design,” Raimondo said. “It’s because of our private sector. Under no circumstances are we going to let (China) catch up.

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