Indo-US technology initiative launched with an eye on China

NEW DELHI: Following Friday’s talks between US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, there are also indications that the US may act as a testbed for an indigenous 5G connectivity programme.

In addition, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Raimondo launched a “Strategic Trade Dialogue” to address export controls, explore ways to enhance high technology commerce, and facilitate technology transfers between the two countries.

Significantly, Raimondo had an unscheduled meeting with PM Modi. The talks discussed the growing concern over Chinese expansionism and Russia’s war on Ukraine, the need to diversify supply chains and reduce dependence on self-upgrading players by restricting supplies of dual-use technologies to unfriendly powers.

While the immediate focus was on semiconductors, the US Commerce Secretary also said there was scope for the supply chain to expand to other electronic goods. Further, he revealed that his discussions with NSA Ajit Doval focused on working with a “reliable vendor base”, seen in the context of the realization of telecom majors moving away from Chinese equipment makers such as Huawei and ZTE. Was, which has been seen. a security risk.

The MoU on semiconductors assumes significance as the US seeks to secure supply chains in the post-Covid period and implement the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act to channelize over $50 billion in investments This statement is being considered as an attempt to develop supply chains that feed each other.

It also comes amid restrictions imposed by the US Commerce Department on US companies exporting to China technology, software and equipment used in making advanced computing chips and supercomputers. There have been reports that the Biden administration is also working on possible investment restrictions in the coming months.

Asked whether the deal with India was part of efforts to break away from China, Raimondo said the benign elements of trade with Beijing would continue, but shared fears over the communist regime’s use of technology for military use. . “The US does not seek to isolate itself from China, nor does it seek technical isolation from China. What we want to do is make sure that some of the technologies, where the US is ahead, and where China’s clear strategy is to keep these technologies and deploy them in the Chinese military system, those are technologies that we have sold to China. Export controls have been used to impose sanctions. … however it is about opening eyes to the fact that China is clearly trying to gain access to American technologies for use in its military,” she said.