Weaponizing Interdependence & Global Value Chains: US Export Controls on Huawei

Douglas B. Fuller*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper contributes to the developing literature on weaponized interdependence by demonstrating through a case study of American export controls targeting Huawei that global value chain (GVC) analysis is a more appropriate tool to analyze the effects of weaponizing supply chains than the network topography approach. The case study examines two key chokepoints the US government has attempted to use in its campaign against Huawei: electronic design automation (EDA) software tools and chipmaking capital equipment.
The still developing weaponized of interdependence framework recognizes that some chokepoints may be more durable than others. However, with its network topography, the weaponization literature has not developed the appropriate approach to evaluate interdependence involving tangible goods. This paper argues that global value chain (GVC) analysis is a superior analytic approach because it can better evaluate the operations of interdependence involving tangible goods and offers more leverage to evaluate the durability of chokepoints.
GVC analysis highlights the importance of GVC linkage characteristics, GVC polarity and GVC- and weaponization policy-shaped corporate interest as the important determinants of chokepoint durability. The paper demonstrates the importance of these GVC-related factors through case studies of the EDA tools and chipmaking equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventAmerican Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2022: Rethink, Restructure, and Reconnect: Towards a Post-Pandemic Political Science - Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 15 Sept 202218 Sept 2022


ConferenceAmerican Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2022
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