September 19, 2022

New CNAS Report: "Rewire: Semiconductors and U.S. Industrial Policy"

Washington, September 19, 2022—Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, "Rewire: Semiconductors and U.S. Industrial Policy," from author Chris Miller, associate professor at the Fletcher School and Jeane Kirkpatrick visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The report explores current trends in the chip industry, and the history of industrial policy in the United States and abroad, to develop recommendations for policymakers about how to strategically implement industrial policy in the semiconductor sector.

The author argues that the U.S. government should focus policy toward the semiconductor industry around four main objectives:

  1. promoting technological advances;
  2. guaranteeing resilience and integrity of supply;
  3. retaining control of choke point technologies; and
  4. working with allies to retain U.S. technological advantage versus China.

"The history of industrial policy suggests that government can play a productive role in supporting workforce development and in funding research and development and prototyping," Miller argues. "Moreover, the government has a clear role to play in addressing the security challenges posed by the excessive concentration of the industry’s fabrication and assembly capability in and around China, which presents an acute risk of disruption in case of geopolitical crisis. To start, however, the U.S. government must deepen its expertise in the industry to ensure policymakers understand the complex supply chains that undergird the semiconductor industry and produce the computing power that U.S. prosperity and security depends on."

"Rewire" is published as part of the U.S. National Industrial Policy Strategy project at CNAS and builds on analysis and insights from the previous CNAS publications, "Reboot: Framework for a New American Industrial Policy,” “Regenerate: Biotechnology and U.S. Industrial Policy," "Reimagine: Clean Energy Technology and U.S. Industrial Policy," and "Rebuild: Toolkit for a New American Industrial Policy." The project is developing an intellectual framework for industrial policy in the American context, in an era of strategic competition with technology at its center. The goal of the project is to pave the way for enhanced and sustained American economic competitiveness and technological leadership.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the report authors, please contact Cameron Edinburgh at [email protected]

Read the Full Report:

Energy, Economics & Security

Rewire: Semiconductors and U.S. Industrial Policy

As the United States considers industrial policy for the first time in decades, it should learn lessons from prior government efforts to shape the semiconductor industry, in t...

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  • Chris Miller

    Contributing Author

    Chris Miller is the author of Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology (Scribner, 2022), a geopolitical history of the computer chip. He is an associate pr...