Reactions have been a mixed bag as the CHIPS Act that intends to provide approximately $52.7 billion in funding for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States — which could include Idaho — heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for signing. Biden has previously expressed his intent to sign the bill.
Congressmen vote no; Dems condemn
All four Republican Idaho Congressmen voted against the legislation.
Sen. Mike Crapo stated: “It is important to our national security that the U.S. semiconductor industry have the stability to maintain supply chains and expand production. That is why, as the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, I worked on legislation that would provide that much-needed support, including for Idaho’s semiconductor industry. Unfortunately, this critical semiconductor legislation was hijacked by Sen. Schumer who, at the last minute, added hundreds of pages authorizing $200 billion dollars of increased spending unrelated to semiconductors. This fuels the inflationary fires that we are all battling and drives up our national debt, which in itself is a tremendous threat to our national security. At a time when every day brings a new record high for rates, costs and inflation, we must stop this unfettered spending that is crippling our economy and penalizing everyday Americans.”
Rep. Russ Fulcher stated: “As someone with 15 years of experience working for one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, I recognize the importance of the industry and the threat that a market dominated by China would pose. Both opponents and supporters of the CHIPS+ Act seek a strong domestic semiconductor industry — not reliant on foreign supply. The difference lies in the proposed solution. Members like me look to the free market, and see that since the beginning of 2021, semiconductor companies have announced nearly $80 billion in domestic investment plans through 2025. Meanwhile, China remains a net importer of semiconductors, at about $300 billion every year. While we cannot understate the risk currently posed by China’s position in the semiconductor market, we also should not understate the current devastating effects of inflation — which is further exacerbated by more government spending. Sen. Schumer’s last-minute decision to add $200 billion in unrelated spending to the bill cements this legislation’s fiscal irresponsibility. If Congress is serious about encouraging business investments, it should look to proven solutions like reducing taxes and regulatory barriers.”
Sen. Jim Risch stated: “I am proud to support Idaho’s semiconductor industry and have done so for many years. Semiconductors are essential to national security, and every day we face new threats from countries like China attempting to steal our technologies and undercut world supply chains. This aggression must be countered. I helped draft the CHIPS Act and moved it forward in Congress. The CHIPS Act would have had my vote, but Senate Democrats added $200 billion dollars in unrelated spending that will be heaped onto the existing $30 trillion dollars of U.S. debt. I will continue strongly supporting the semiconductor industry as a vital aspect of national security, but the U.S. cannot meaningfully compete if we bankrupt ourselves along the way.”
Rep. Mike Simpson stated: “Bringing semiconductor fabrication back to the U.S. is a pressing matter for both commercial and defense needs. I was proud to support CHIPS for America when passed as part FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act. However, the CHIPS Plus bill that the House voted on today was a far cry from a clean bill to support U.S. competitiveness. Rather than engage in good faith negotiations with Republicans on this legislation relating to semiconductors this session, Democrats chose to craft yet another bill that sends billions of taxpayer dollars to Democratic wish list items that have nothing to do with countering China’s stranglehold over critical resources. I support funding for U.S. semiconductor production — but at a time when inflation is at record levels and Americans are already suffering under the crushing weight of rising prices, it is irresponsible to approve even more reckless spending that will almost certainly send our economy into recession.”
Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea stated: “Idaho’s computer chip manufacturing industry provides good jobs and is critical to our state’s economy. The CHIPS and Science Act is a popular, bipartisan bill that will ensure our manufacturers stay competitive on a global scale. Without domestic computer chip production, our nation is vulnerable from both a security and a supply chain perspective. I can’t understand why Idaho’s Republican Congressman would play politics with a core component of our state’s economy.”
Industry in favor, so far
Doug Hackler, president and CEO American Semiconductor that is based in Boise, stated: “Will big, rich, companies like Intel and Micron benefit from CHIPS? They probably will and I hope that they wisely invest in developing competitive manufacturing in the U.S. Will others benefit? This is the big question for small new technology companies like American Semiconductor. New U.S. semiconductor manufacturing has been starved of the funding needed to develop. The conventional wisdom and current market stance are that manufacturing is done off-shore; this isn’t surprising considering that off-shore is where incentives are given to build new manufacturing. It’s been over 40 years since a new U.S. high volume semiconductor manufacturer has emerged. Will CHIPS incentives and tax credits encouraging investment in U.S. manufacturing help? We hope so, because without the reestablishment of this critical U.S. industry, probably from new companies like American Semiconductor, it is likely that our country will be increasingly at risk and controlled by foreign interests.”
Jay Larsen, Idaho Technology Council CEO, stated: “The U.S. was the first place to manufacture semiconductors in the world. We have an amazing history of innovation related to microchips and our own Micron has been a major player advancing new innovations and technologies. Today, 92% of the worlds most advanced logic semiconductors are manufactured in Taiwan — which has prompted serious supply chain issues. We are enthused that the U.S. Senate approved the CHIPS + Act. This will supply significant resources to an industry that will continue to be the bedrock of memory, control systems and so much more. While we are concerned about unrelated spending that was heaped on the CHIPS+ legislation that is unrelated to semiconductors, we know this is vital for our country and technological advances and opportunities for Idaho companies.”
Micron Technology, based in Boise, stated it “commends and thanks the Biden Administration for their leadership and the bipartisan work of Congress for passing the ‘Chips and Science’ legislation. This is a big step towards securing the future of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States and advancing American innovation and competitiveness for years to come. This legislation will bring leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing to the U.S., creating tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars of new investments — transforming U.S. semiconductor innovation and supply chain resilience. Today, only 2% of global memory supply is manufactured in the U.S., and all of that is produced by Micron. The competitive incentives passed will allow Micron, the only U.S.-based manufacturer of memory, to grow domestic production of memory significantly in the years ahead. As a result of this bipartisan effort to ensure our economic and national security, Micron has an historic opportunity to invest in bringing the most innovative leading-edge memory manufacturing to the U.S. We look forward to sharing more details regarding our plans in the coming weeks.”