South Korea called on the US to clear up uncertainties around stricter trade controls on the export of advanced chips and machinery to China as well as conditions in the chips act limiting investment in the mainland, Yonhap News Agency reported.

In a meeting in Seoul today (22 September), South Korean Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu asked US deputy secretary of Commerce Don Graves for “active cooperation” to work through issues raised by domestic chipmakers on the new controls, the newspaper wrote.

The Chips and Science Act provides $52.7 billion for domestic semiconductor research, manufacturing and workforce development, but prohibits funding recipients from expanding semiconductor manufacturing in China for ten years after receiving funding.

This has raised concerns among chipmakers with operations in China.

Samsung, which has chip factories in China, is working on a second facility in the US state of Texas. It has applied for US subsidies.

After the expanded export controls to China were revealed in October 2022, the South Korean government pushed the US to reconsider the new restrictions to allow domestic companies to acquire chipmaking equipment, clearing them to move ahead with existing plans to expand operations in the mainland.

With export waivers allowing several chipmakers to import US equipment into China due to expire next month, the US government in August was tipped to extend one-year exemptions from the controls.