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The United States Department of State and the Government of Mexico have announced a collaborative effort to explore avenues for enhancing and diversifying the global semiconductor landscape. This initiative falls under the purview of the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, established by the CHIPS Act of 2022. By leveraging this partnership, both nations aim to fortify the semiconductor value chain, fostering resilience, security, and sustainability.

The initial phase of this venture involves conducting a thorough evaluation of Mexico's existing semiconductor ecosystem, including its regulatory framework, workforce, and infrastructural requirements. Engaging key stakeholders such as state governments, educational institutions, research centers, and private enterprises, alongside Mexico's Secretariat of Economy, will provide valuable insights. These findings will serve as the foundation for potential joint endeavors aimed at reinforcing and expanding this pivotal sector.

Collaboration Between US and Mexico

The collaboration between the United States and Mexico underscores their shared commitment to ensuring the global semiconductor supply chain remains robust amid the ongoing digital transformation. Given the crucial role semiconductors play in manufacturing various essential goods, including vehicles and medical devices, enhancing Mexico's semiconductor industry stands to benefit both nations significantly. 

This collaborative effort builds upon existing cooperation frameworks such as the bilateral High-Level Economic Dialogue and the trilateral North American Leaders Summit process. Moreover, it aligns with ongoing regional initiatives like the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, which seeks to bolster competitiveness in the semiconductor sector through workforce development and other strategic measures.

CHIPS Act of 2022

The CHIPS Act of 2022, signed into law by President Biden in August 2022, serves as the legislative backbone for these endeavors. This legislation allocates substantial funding to bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research in the United States. Central to the CHIPS Act is the establishment of the ITSI Fund, which earmarks USD 500 million for the US Department of State over a five-year period (beginning in Fiscal Year 2023). This fund aims to promote the development and adoption of secure telecommunications networks while ensuring the security and diversification of the semiconductor supply chain through collaborative programs and initiatives with allied nations and partners.

Also Read: Crisis to Catalyst: How the Semiconductor Supply Chain Is Adapting