Taiwan’s GlobalWafers, the world’s third-largest manufacturer of semiconductor wafers, has recently announced plans to build a $5 billion plant in Texas but only if the US government helped with the costs. This follows TSMC starting production of their Phoenix plant with help of local tax money and requesting more aid as costs have increased during the project. The focus of these requests? That would be the 2021 CHIPS Act passed by the US Congress to support semiconductor manufacturing as part of the United States Defense Budget.
The CHIPS Act was part of the defense budget that has been formally passed and allocated $52 billion to move chip production away from China and to the US. The goal of this act was to help make the US less dependent on China for electronics and support companies building new factories and other projects to achieve this goal. The problem with the CHIPS Act is that Congress has yet to move any of the money and it was also intended to support domestic companies only.
Speaking of domestic companies, Intel has also stopped building a factory in Ohio until CHIPS money is released to support their project. Intel has stated that the project was based on the CHIPS funding and not releasing the money has delayed the project from even breaking ground. GlobalWafers and TSMC are both foreign companies and would require modification of the Act if they were to receive any funding. The current global shortage of semiconductors and numerous product shortages caused by this are adding to the push by a large section of the government to make the US better able to sustain itself if a war with China breaks out and those are solid leverage points for companies to push to gain access to those funds.
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