Chips, Apps, and U.S.-China Competition


As the Biden administration and the Congress increasingly focus on U.S. competition with China, policymakers confront complex problems illustrated both by microchip supply chains and by current debates surrounding TikTok. These problems raise fundamental questions: What forms of trade, investment, and commerce should the United States allow? What should it limit? Which goods can and should America produce at home? How can the U.S. government cooperate with partners, whose firms are often commercial rivals of U.S. firms, in “friendshoring” or other approaches? Should the United States try to constrain China? How? Could that work? 

On April 2, the Center for the National Interest hosted two leading experts to discuss these issues and more:

Robert Atkinson is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and a leading technology advisor to Democratic and Republican administrations, including as a member of the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Council on China Competition (Biden administration), in the G7 Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (Trump administration), and as co-chair of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s China-U.S. Innovation Policy Experts Group (Obama). He has authored several books, including most recently Technology Fears and Scapegoats: 40 Myths About Privacy, AI and Today’s Innovation Economy.

Jamil Jaffer is the founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he is also an assistant professor and leads programs on national security law and policy and on cyber, intelligence, and national security. Jaffer’s experience also includes both private sector experience in cybersecurity as well as policy experience as Chief Counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a White House Associate Counsel, and in various positions in the Justice Department’s National Security Division and in other offices.  

Paul Saunders, president of the Center for the National Interest, moderated the discussion.