U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the Commerce Department needs more funding to stop China from overtaking cutting-edge semiconductors.
“We can’t let China get these chips. Times don’t change,” she said Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California. “We’re going to deny them our cutting-edge technology.”
To do that, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which manages U.S. export controls, needs more funding from Congress, Raimondo said.
“I have a budget of $200 million, which is the price of several fighter jets. Come on,” she said. “If you’re serious, let’s fund this operation just like we need funding.”
Raimondo said U.S. companies must adapt to U.S. national security priorities, such as the export restrictions the department has imposed on semiconductor exports.
“I know there are CEOs of semiconductor companies in this audience who were a little bit displeased with me when I did something like that because of the loss of revenue,” she said. said. “That’s life. Protecting national security is more important than short-term income.”
Raimondo called out. Nvidia Inc.designed the chip specifically for the Chinese market after the US imposed its first regulations in October 2022.
“If we redesign the chip around a specific cut line that allows us to run the AI, the next day I’m going to be controlling it,” Raimondo said.
The Department of Commerce updated semiconductor regulations this fall to include Nvidia’s chips for China, and the company responded as follows: design Three new AI components for Asian countries.
Communication with China can help stabilize relations, but “when it comes to national security issues, we have to keep our eyes open to threats,” she said.
“This is the greatest threat we have ever experienced and we need to respond in the moment,” she said.
— With assistance from Mackenzie Hawkins