Mexico and the U.S. to collaborate on semiconductor production
by Associated Press
Both efforts seek to eat into Asia's advantage in semiconductors and batteries needed for electric vehicles and promote North American production.
Mexico and the United States plan to take advantage of the Biden administration’s massive investment in semiconductor production to push the integration of their supply chains and cooperate on expanding the production of electric vehicles through Mexico’s nationalized lithium industry, officials from both countries said on Sep. 12.
Both efforts seek to eat into Asia’s advantage in semiconductors and batteries needed for electric vehicles and promote North American production.
They were among the main topics discussed within and on the sidelines of the two countries’ High-Level Economic Dialogue in Mexico’s capital.
“Major elements of the semiconductor supply chains are already well established in Mexico, with U.S. based companies like Intel and Skyworks conducting research and development, design, assembly and test manufacturing in parts of Mexico,” U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken said.
Blinken and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimundo had spoken earlier in the day with Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador about the opportunities for Mexico to take advantage of recently passed U.S. legislation that would provide $28 billion in incentives for semiconductor production, $10 billion for new manufacturing of chips and $11 billion for research and development.
Lopez Obrador, for his part, explained his plan to make the northern border state of Sonora a leader in lithium, electric vehicle and solar energy production, Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said. Lithium is a key component of batteries for electric vehicles. The president said last month he had already discussed the idea with U.S. President Joe Biden.
Blinken said another piece of new U.S. legislation aims to incentivize the shift to electric vehicles and the production of the batteries they need in North America.
Ebrard said it was a big opening for Mexico’s economy.
“This means more jobs for Mexico, more integration,” Ebrard said. “We think Mexico could grow twice as much with what was proposed to Mexico today and this means we can reduce poverty even faster in our country and that the infrastructure of Mexico can grow faster.”
The dialogue, which was launched by then-Vice President Biden in 2013, resumed last year in Washington after stopping during the Trump administration.
The global shortage of semiconductors has slashed into production of autos, household appliances and other goods, fueling high inflation. Biden appeared at the future site of a massive Intel plant in Ohio on Sep. 9.
Last month, Lopez Obrador said the government had created the state-run lithium company that would be in charge of the exploration and extraction of the mineral. Mexico nationalized lithium production in May.