Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at Temple University Japan

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at Temple University Japan

Sep 27, 2023

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at Temple University Japan
Wed, 09/27/2023 – 10:33

Export and investment promotion
ICT Supply Chain
Intellectual property
Trade enforcement


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Office of Public Affairs

Don Graves

Thank you, Dean, for that kind introduction.

Good morning, everyone! Ohayou Gozaimasu

I am honored to be here at Temple University Japan – the first campus of an American university in Japan. This campus and the thousands of students who have passed through here are a testament to the kind of U.S.-Japan partnership between the United States and Japan that is as important today as it was four decades ago.

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Temple University community here and in the United States for the tragic loss of Acting President Joanne Epps. Over nearly four decades at Temple, Joanne Epps distinguished herself as a scholar, professor, and administrator, with a deep and abiding commitment to the university and its students, social justice, and equality.

This trip holds deep meaning for me personally. In 1860, my three-times great-grandfather, James Wormley, a small businessman in Washington, DC, hosted and catered for the first Japanese Commission to visit the United States. My mission to Japan this week — 163 years later — comes at a time when the U.S.-Japan relationship has never been stronger and more important, not only for our two countries but for the world.


Today, we face unprecedented global challenges. The COVID pandemic, the existential threat of climate change, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, and the rise of authoritarian regimes, including here in the Indo-Pacific Region, all pose grave threats to the rules-based international economic order that the United States, Japan, and like-minded democracies have diligently built and sacrificed for over generations.

Exacerbating these challenges is a high-stakes, must-win technology competition between democracies and authoritarian adversaries.

Who leads on critical and emerging technologies – computing technologies, such as chips, cyber, and AI; climate and clean technologies; and biotechnologies – will profoundly shape the international economic order for generations to come.

Will that world economy continue to evolve towards one based on democratic norms and standards, fair and mutually beneficial trade, and innovation, entrepreneurship, and opportunity?

Will your generation be able to count on the free flow of information, data privacy, and an open internet?

Will we move towards concerted climate action and green innovation in both developed and developing countries?

These are the questions that we must address and answer in the affirmative.


The Biden-Harris Administration recognized these challenges early – they are nowhere more pressing than here in the Indo-Pacific Region.

That is why the United States is undertaking unprecedented bilateral, plurilateral, and multilateral efforts with partners in the Region to realize the vision of an Indo-Pacific that is, to quote the President Biden, “open, connected, prosperous, resilience, and secure.”

To this end, the Administration and the Commerce Department are doing three things:

First, we are making strategic domestic investments while also deepening commercial ties with our allies in critical and emerging technologies that will have an outsized impact on our economies.
Second, we are taking steps to protect our national security by fostering trusted tech ecosystems, combatting economic coercion, and preventing malign actors from using sensitive goods and technologies to undermine our national security and the security of our partners and allies.
Third, we are expanding our engagement, along with our private sectors, in the Global South to offer our partners more attractive infrastructure alternatives to help meet their most pressing economic needs.
Let me say a bit more about these efforts – and how the U.S.-Japan partnership is indispensable in ensuring success not only for the U.S. and Japan, but for the world.


It starts with what I believe is the industrial renaissance that we are helping to catalyze in the United States with a focus on critical and emerging technologies.

For decades, across parties and administrations in the United States, policymakers took a hands-off approach to economic policy. As a result, too many Americans were left behind – Jobs were lost, our industrial base was hollowed out, real wage growth declined, inequality increased, and our workforce was left disconnected from opportunities.

In the meantime, our competitors and adversaries moved aggressively to establish their tech advantage – further eroding ours. They sought to use their advantage in ways that threaten the free flow of information, exacerbate IP theft, and utilize disinformation to undermine our open democratic, market systems.

We are now turning the page.  As many of you know, the U.S. passed landmark legislation such as the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Through these programs, the United States is making historic investments in manufacturing, R&D, and workforce development across the U.S. in critical and emerging technologies, and economic clusters, that will have outsized impacts for years to come. Specifically, I’m talking about computing technologies, such as chips, AI, and quantum; clean and climate technologies, from renewable to nuclear energy and carbon capture; as well as biotechnologies. 

Let me underscore – our investments in rebuilding our industrial base in the U.S. does not mean we are going it alone. When the U.S. builds tech capabilities, it enables us to be better innovation partners with allies, with leading technology powers such as Japan and Korea. That is why, in lockstep with our industrial investments, we are also deepening our commercial and economic partnerships with allies like Japan as well as Korea to foster two-way trade and investments in key sectors.  Here are some examples of what we’re doing:

In 2021, we launched the Japan-U.S. Commercial and Industrial Partnership, or JUCIP, with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) to deepen government-government and private sector collaboration around semiconductor supply chain resilience and the digital economy.
Just last month, President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida, and President Yoon held a successful, first-of-its-kind, Trilateral Summit just last month at Camp David. There, they committed to a range of initiatives between our three countries to deepen economic and technology cooperation, such as a supply chain early warning system pilot on priority products and materials; collaboration between our respective national laboratories; and regular meetings between our commerce and industry ministers.
 This week, I am leading cybersecurity trade mission with 15 world-class American cybersecurity companies that are seeking to develop partnerships both here and in Korea.
 These engagements are paying off in terms of two-way trade and investment. For instance, Japanese and Korean companies are also increasing their investments in critical and emerging technologies in the American heartland, including in my home state of Ohio. As a result of the efforts of the Ohio State Economic Development Center, Honda and LG Energy Solution have made a combined commitment to invest $4.2 billion to build an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant and retool existing Honda plants to support the automotive supply chain and create over 2500 jobs.


Even as we invest in and innovate new technologies, we must be vigilant in countering malign actors and adversaries that seek to undermine our collective economic security, which is more connected than ever to our national security.

Specifically, we need to ensure that our tech innovation ecosystems are trusted, secure, and protected those who engage in IP theft, undermine data privacy, and use and abuse technologies to further their military mobilization and modernization and while suppressing democratic norms.

Here, too, the U.S. and Japan are undertaking bilateral and multilateral efforts. As a concrete example, we have broken new ground on export control partnerships. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the measures we imposed against Russia following their invasion of Ukraine.

As an outcome of the recent Trilateral Summit between our leaders, the U.S., Japan, and Korea are deepening these partnerships.  All three agreed to work on a Disruptive Technology Protection Enforcement Exchange that will strengthen technology protection measures and information sharing across our enforcement agencies. All three countries are also committed to working together to counter DPRK cyber activities and foreign information manipulation.

It is important to remember that protecting our national security also requires that we counter thwart economic coercion – by this, I mean efforts by authoritarian adversaries, particularly the PRC, to weaponize trade and investment to impose costs on countries that don’t bend to their will. The United States strongly supports Japan’s leadership in the G7, along with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, to issue a “Joint Declaration Against Trade-Related Economic Coercion and Non-Market Policies and Practices.”

These are just some examples of increasingly important economic tools we are using, along with our allies, to protect our economic and national security. To explain these tools and what we’re doing as part of the Administration’s efforts, I am launching the first-of-its-kind Commerce Department National Security Strategy later this year.


Let me turn, finally, to a basic fact: that supply chains for critical and emerging tech are inherently global in nature.

From packaging and testing for semiconductors to critical minerals that provide essential inputs to chips, EVs, and other technologies, our success requires that we forge trusted technology partnerships not only with each other, but with like-minded partners all over the world.  

That’s why United States and Japan are taking steps, along with other G7 nations and their private sectors, to help partners in the Global South meet their economic and sustainable development goals.

Two years ago, President Biden, along with other G7 leaders, launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure (PGI) seeking to mobilize $600 billion in public and private investments by 2027, in infrastructure critical to the energy transition, supply chain resilience; digital economy, economic corridors; and sustainable health systems. The goal is to offer partner countries better alternatives to meet their infrastructure needs – e.g., trusted commercial partnerships, infrastructure financing, as well as high quality technology, goods, and services.

At the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May, our leaders reaffirmed their commitment to PGI and highlighted the considerable progress that has been made with a number of innovative projects around the world, such as:

the United States’ partnership with Indonesia as a first mover in ASEAN on small modular reactor deployment as part of the Just Energy Transition Partnership,
Japan’s support for an 88MW wind power plant in Vietnam and two 500MW onshore wind projects in Egypt, and
The United States’ commitment, recently announced by President Bident at the first-ever C5+1 Summit, to provide Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan attractive infrastructure alternatives for development of an economic and energy corridor along the Trans-Caspian Trade Route, ‘the Middle Corridor’. Japan is a key partner in these efforts.
Closer to home in the Indo-Pacific, the United States, Japan, and Korea are working 11 other partner countries in the Region on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a cornerstone of our efforts to promote innovation and growth across the region in clean, digital, and other technologies with protections against the scourge of corruption.

Japan, along with Korea and other partners, have been instrumental in ensuring the progress of IPEF negotiations, including the conclusion in May of this year of the first-of-its-kind Supply Chain Agreement among the 14 partners. We are looking to conclude similar agreements on the clean economy, including the energy transition, and on fair economy principles, such as the fight against corruption and efficient tax measures.



These new economic alliances and tech partnerships are spearheading our efforts to ensure a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific and rules-based international order. A linchpin of these efforts is strong partnership between the U.S. and Japan.

My belief is that we are putting in place the architecture for decades of innovation and outsized productivity growth – so that your generation continues to enjoy the blessing of shared prosperity, freedom, and opportunity. Success will ultimately depend on you – your ingenuity, creativity, hard work, and willingness to push the frontiers of what’s possible and beyond in the critical and emerging technologies that are profoundly changing the world we live in.


Don Graves


National Security
Indo-Pacific Economic Framework
Artificial Intelligence
Climate Change

Read the full report from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Read More