Semiconductors are at the heart of everything. Billions of humans are carrying semiconductors in one form or another on them at all times, through the use of phones, laptops, and more. It has launched our species into being more productive by the minute. Semiconductors help with technology, but facilitate processes in a multitude of sectors. In aerospace it is semiconductors that allow for the precise communication technologies to detect objects. In financial engineering FPGA engineers code semiconductors execute trades that are made in a fraction of a second, and have allowed us to see into every square foot of this Earth through satellite imaging. Now semiconductors are smaller and more efficient than ever with hope that it can find cures to diseases and power our supercomputers to test new limits. It is important to note that the semiconductor industry has vast implications outside due to it being used as an index for economic growth.
The Obama administration now sees the U.S.’s semiconductor industry in danger. Corporate espionage and state-fueled efforts of other countries pouring billions into R&D has placed some Silicon Valley companies at risk. China is the big threat and so are the natural laws of the universe. The chip sector is already facing slowing growth from Moore’s Law. Semiconductors can hardly get any smaller, and IBM has already created processors that are measured by the molecules. KPMG has reported that the semiconductor is a $300 billion+ market with about 30 percent of the market owned by U.S. companies. Broadcom and Qualcomm has excelled while Micron and TI are experiencing volatile earnings. Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor has been growing at rates not seen by American nor European companies in years. If the U.S. were to be dethroned in semiconductors there would be a number of problems. State security is one with China flexing their supercomputers to calculate complex problems at speeds challenging the fastest domestic computers. Semiconductors are at the heart of warfare as well especially in intelligence and communications, losing the edge in a military field is not something the U.S. has ever allowed. Additionally, there are concerns that the U.S. may enter a shrinking economy if semiconductors do not drive the growth for other industries.
All of these are concerns among top business leaders and government officials. Obama’s semiconductor coalition brings the 11 highest officials together. These include the former CEO of Intel, the CEO of Northrop Grumman, Executive Chair of Qualcomm, and more. The question is what fiscal policies will Trump introduce that will affect the future fate of American technology.