U.S. says it has not blocked chip sales to Middle East

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FILE PHOTO: A worker miniature is placed among printed circuit boards with semiconductor chips, in this illustration picture taken July 5, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

(Reuters) - A U.S. Department of Commerce spokesperson on Thursday said the Biden administration “has not blocked chip sales to the Middle East.”

The comments come after artificial intelligence chip firms Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices received notifications from U.S. officials about new export licensing requirements to ship chips to some countries in the Middle East. However, neither of those firms said whether they had yet been denied a license to send chips to those countries.

The Commerce Department declined to comment on letters sent to specific companies.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco

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