Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, confirmed a report Monday that it has entered into talks with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on building a plant in the United States.
It stressed, however, that it has no concrete plans for a potential investment at present.
In a statement issued in response to the reported talks with the DOC, TSMC said the company continues to evaluate any possibility of building a plant outside Taiwan, and the U.S. is just one of the options.
Any overseas investment plan would take into account clients' needs and several other factors such as the state of the global economy, the supply chain, its workforce and production costs.
Beyond TSMC, the DOC has also been in talks with American semiconductor giant Intel Corp. on the possibility of building a chip plant there, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The talks come at a time of escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing as they trade barbs over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. threatens to impose more punitive tariffs on Chinese imports because of Beijing's lack of transparency on the new coronavirus.
According to the WSJ report, the Trump administration and the U.S. semiconductor sector are hoping to jump-start the development of new chip factories in the U.S. as concerns grow about its dependence on Asia as a source of critical technologies.
The WSJ said TSMC has even entered into talks with Apple Inc., one of TSMC's largest clients, on building a factory in the U.S., but the chipmaker declined to comment on its discussions with Apple because it does not comment on any individual client.
Washington is also looking at helping South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co., which has a semiconductor factory in Texas, to expand its contract chip production in the U.S., the report said.
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