U.S. seeks closer India tech ties; no China "decoupling"- U.S. commerce secretary
By Shivangi Acharya
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India could become a key supplier of electronic parts and hardware for the United States, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Friday, adding that Washington was not seeking a "technological decoupling" from China.
Raimondo's visit to New Delhi comes amid increasingly tight U.S. export restrictions on chipmaking technology to China which Washington says are aimed at hobbling Beijing's ability to expand its chip industry and enhance its military capabilities.
Speaking to reporters after meeting India's Trade Minister Shri Piyush Gopal, Raimondo said India was a trusted technology partner that could become a supplier in the "entire electronics supply chain, not just semiconductors".
"We want to deepen our technology relationship with India," she said after both countries signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the semiconductor sector.
"I want to be also clear... this isn't about decoupling, what it is about is keeping eyes wide open to the fact that China is explicitly trying to get access to American technology to use in its military and we need to protect ourselves and our allies and partners from that happening," she added.
China's government has earmarked $140 billion to boost domestic chip manufacturing to overcome the U.S. export curbs.
India has been seeking to attract more investment in the chipmaking and display sector under a $10 billion incentive plan. Last year, the government said it would cover 50% of the project cost of new local semiconductor facilities.
Raimondo, who is leading a delegation including executives from 10 U.S. companies, said India's ambitions to expand its tech sector were "totally aligned with the United States' desire and goal to make our supply chain more resilient".
She also said she would announce a number of "substantial investments" by U.S. firms in India, without giving any details.
(Reporting by Shivangi Achary; writing by Miral Fahmy; editing by Christina Fincher)