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TSMC confirms meeting between chairman and U.S. commerce official

2018/03/28 15:00

Morris Chang (張忠謀)/CNA file photo

Taipei, March 28 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, confirmed Wednesday that its chairman, Morris Chang (張忠謀), met recently with a U.S. commerce official, but declined to divulge further details.

Chang met with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Ian Steff and the two exchanged opinions, TSMC said, without elaborating.

TSMC's statement came after Taiwan's Liberty Times reported Wednesday that Steff, who is visiting Taiwan to strengthen bilateral trade and investment, met with Chang in Hsinchu Monday before Steff attended a meeting with representatives from Taiwan's semiconductor industry.

Steff said Taiwan's semiconductor industry is highly complementary to that of the United States and is an important ally to the U.S., and expressed hope that the two sides will step up their cooperation, according to the Liberty Times, citing sources who attended the meeting.

The meeting between Chang and Steff generated media interest in Taiwan, as recent U.S. media reports have suggested that China might buy fewer semiconductors from Taiwan suppliers and more from U.S. suppliers.

The Wall Street Journal on March 26 cited sources as saying that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have made a list of requests to China, including more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors.

The Financial Times also reported that same day that Beijing has offered to buy more semiconductors from the United States by diverting purchases from Taiwanese and South Korean suppliers.

In response to the media reports, TSMC said only that its operations will not be affected.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Christie Chen)Enditem/J