S.Korea, US discuss impact of semiconductor export controls on China

South Korea and the US on Tuesday discussed the impacts of Washington’s restrictions on exports of advanced semiconductor equipment to China and ways to resolve related uncertainties in the industry, Seoul’s industry ministry said.

The discussions were made during the inaugural working group meeting on dual-use export controls under the Korea-U.S. Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue (SCCD), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The meeting took place in Seoul and brought together Moon Dong-min, Seoul’s deputy minister for trade and investment, and Thea Kendler, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for export administration, it said.

The SCCD platform was launched in May in an effort to facilitate closer bilateral collaboration on supply chain resilience, export controls, health care technology and the digital economy, reports Yonhap news agency.

During the meeting, the two sides checked the implementation of their ban on exports to Russia of strategic materials over its invasion of Ukraine, and shared the respective nation’s regulations and measures regarding export restrictions of dual-use items, according to the ministry.

“They also exchanged opinions on the impact that the U.S.’ measures to bar chip exports to China would have on South Korean industries, as well as ways to address uncertainties stemming from the move,” the ministry said in a release.

Last month, the Joe Biden administration announced a set of measures that cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made with U.S. equipment in an apparent bid to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.

The move sparked fears of disrupting operations of the South Korean chip giants in China, as they must undergo a case-by-case review by Washington to sell advanced chips to China, though South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc. were temporarily exempted from the measures and are allowed to continue normal production activities in China for one year.

“The two sides agreed to hold the working group talks on export restrictions on a regular basis, and to devise plans on detailed goals and a time frame,” the ministry said.

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