Pyongyang, South Korea (AB) – President Joe Biden began his Asian tour on Friday, touring the South Korean computer chip factory, which will be modeled on a plant in Texas, an example of the deep ties with India. The Pacific is fueling technological breakthroughs and fostering vibrant democracy.
“Much of the future of the world will be written here in the Indo-Pacific region over the next several decades,” Biden said. “In my view, this is the moment to invest in each other to deepen our business relationships and bring our people even closer.”
Biden’s message was aimed at a better global future, but he’s trying to show that his administration is delivering the economy by targeting U.S. voters amid domestic political challenges – such as high inflation due to the chip shortage.
The Democratic Party’s first visit to Asia as president, according to a poll released Friday by the Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Research Center, found Biden’s U.S. approval rating to be 39%, the lowest in his presidency. The study also found deep distrust of the economy and the state of the United States – especially among Democrats.
2 out of 10 American adults describe the country moving in the right direction or the economy is doing well, up from 3 in 10 in April. Among Democrats, just 33% said the country was on the right track, up from 49% last month.
Samsung, the owner of a South Korean chip plant, announced plans last November To open $ 17 billion semiconductor factory in Texas. Last year a semiconductor shortage affected the availability of autos, kitchen appliances and other items, causing high inflation worldwide and crippling Biden’s public recognition among U.S. voters. The president said the Texas plant would add 3,000 high-tech jobs and include union workers in construction.
“These little chips,” Biden said in his comments as he toured the plant, “the key to pushing us into the next era of human technological development.”
The President seeks to enhance high-value trade cooperation between democracies in order to preserve the benefits of a globalized economy that benefits American workers and leads to greater foreign investment in the United States. With the Chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group to highlight the company’s decision to invest in a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Savannah, Georgia.
During his five-day trip to South Korea and Japan, Biden presented his argument on how strong the United States can be at home and abroad, working with its closest allies. In his comments on Friday, Biden did not mention China, which has emerged as a major rival with the United States, and stressed the value of the alliances that the country is currently excluding.
South Korea’s new president Eun Suk Yol and Samsung Electronics vice president Lee Jae-yong greeted Pita at the plant. Yoon is a political newcomer who became president, his first elected office, this month. He campaigned for taking a tougher stance against North Korea and strengthening its 70-year alliance with the United States.
Before Biden spoke, Yun said he hoped the US-South Korea alliance would develop into an “economic and security alliance based on cooperation in advanced technology and supply chains”.
The chip showed the uniqueness of the factory production because visitors had to wear white laboratory coats and blue shoes to help keep the facility clean. Biden and Yoon, who were not wearing protective clothing, witnessed the demonstration of the machines.
At one point during his tour, Biden received an in-depth description of the KLA research methodology at the Samsung plant site. The California-based company is a major supplier to Samsung’s semiconductor operations. After a worker named Peter explained the intricacies of the machine, he returned home to the United States and advised Biden to “vote without forgetting.”
In the end, Biden slipped away and thanked South Korea’s immediate former president, Moon Jae-in, for being “in office” for many years before the last election. Biden quickly adjusted the slip.
“Thank you, President Moon, for all you have done so far,” Biden said.
As much of the world comes out of the corona virus infection, part of the computer chip shortage is the result of strong demand. But virus outbreaks and other challenges have led to the closure of some semiconductor plants. U.S. government officials estimate that chip production will not be as high as they would like until early next year.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, global computer chip sales in the first three months of this year totaled $ 151.7 billion, up 23% from the same period in 2021.
75% of global chip production comes from Asia. This is a potential vulnerability that the United States hopes to protect through greater GDP. The bill, which is being negotiated in Congress, has $ 52 billion worth of government investment in the sector.
The risk of Chinese aggression against Taiwan could cut off the flow of high-end computer chips needed for military equipment and consumer goods in the United States. Similarly, Hermetic North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles amid the Corona virus outbreak, making it possible if the risk to South Korea’s manufacturing sector increases.
In terms of chip production, China leads the world with 24%, followed by Taiwan (21%), South Korea (19%) and Japan (13%). According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, only 10% of chips are made in the United States.
In November 2021 Samsung announced the plant at Taylor in Texas. It is expected to be operational in the second half of 2024. The South Korean electronics company selected the site based on factors including government incentives and the “readiness and sustainability” of the local infrastructure.
The White House said in a fact sheet that semiconductor companies have announced nearly $ 80 billion in US investment by 2025. That includes $ 20 billion for Intel’s plant outside Columbus, Ohio, $ 30 billion for Texas Instruments, and a $ 1 billion expansion through Wolfspeed. Investments in New York and Global Foundries and SK Group.
Darlene Superville, an Associated Press writer in Washington, DC, contributed to the report.
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