According to a Nikkei Asian Review report today, the U.S. government continues to pressure TSMC to make some of its chips, including those used in Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, in the U.S. in fears of interference from the Chinese government.
This isn't the first time we've heard claims that the U.S. government is pressuring TSMC some of its chip production, as Bloomberg reported the same thing in November. At the time, TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the company didn't want to make that move.
TSMC's apparently a bit more diplomatic now.
"We have never ruled out building or acquiring a fab [semiconductor fabrication plant] in the United States, but currently there is no concrete plan," the company told Nikkei.
The report also said that the U.S. government's requests were more specific than previously thought. The U.S. has reportedly pushed TSMC to make "military-use chips" in the U.S. and doesn't seem concerned about other chips.
"We've noticed that many U.S. tech executives and government officials are concerned about their country's dependence on TSMC and the security of their defense industry’s supply chains," Taiwan Institute for National Defense and Security Research Director Su Tze-yun told Nikkei.
"That’s why the U.S. constantly hopes that TSMC could stand with them to make chips somewhere else other than just Taiwan, which they think is not completely safe because China has not ruled out the possibility of taking control of the island by force."
Those efforts aren't likely to end any time soon. With tension between the U.S. and China continuing to mount--even as the countries reportedly near a trade agreement--we suspect U.S. officials will continue to push TSMC to move.