Just over a year ago, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the historic CHIPS and Science Act.
While we served for varied amounts of time in Congress, we governed with similar goals in mind: to pursue policies that spur economic growth, support domestic manufacturing and strengthen our national security.
We voted for the CHIPS and Science Act because it promised to deliver on these goals.
The measure made a $50 billion investment to incentivize American semiconductor manufacturing to recommit to the U.S., with a 25 percent tax credit for American chip manufacturers. It bolstered centers of research across our country, prioritized funding for workforce development and job creation, and ensured a renewed focus on our national security. We helped negotiate some of these provisions and advocated within our party for its passage.
We were proud to vote in support of this measure, which passed Congress with bipartisan support. Now, our nation is seeing the tremendous impact of this legislation.
In the states and districts we call home, along with several other communities across the country, we’ve seen the semiconductor industry respond enthusiastically to the CHIPS and Science Act. Private companies have announced the investment of billions of dollars into domestic semiconductor manufacturing, representing some of the largest economic development initiatives in our nation’s history.
In Clay, N.Y., Micron Technology announced a $100 billion investment in a semiconductor manufacturing megafab to bring leading-edge memory manufacturing to the U.S. The company is already at work in New York creating strong community partnerships and driving local workforce development efforts. Micron is simultaneously investing $15 billion to co-locate leading-edge manufacturing at its existing Boise, Idaho, research and development fab.
Intel Corp. is constructing two new manufacturing facilities in Ohio and investing billions of dollars to expand facilities in New Mexico and Arizona.
Equipment and materials suppliers, as well as research and development hubs that support these manufacturing sites, are following suit. In Michigan, for example, Mersen and Hemlock Semiconductor have each committed millions to expand materials production facilities.
These projects are already underway – and they represent only a small portion of the over 400 submissions made to the Department of Commerce for CHIPS-related investment.
What’s more, industry commitment has initiated a ripple effect. Community colleges, universities and Registered Apprenticeship programs surrounding these semiconductor manufacturing centers and their suppliers are strengthening or implementing workforce development programming and devoting resources towards research and development to ensure our nation is able to meet the tremendous workforce challenges that will accompany reshoring semiconductor manufacturing. Dollars already authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act will allow continued federal support through the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation for additional research and development, and for STEM education.
Semiconductor chips are vital to our everyday lives. We rely on them for use of everything from our phones, cars and medical devices, to the advanced technology utilized by our military.
But we have become dependent on foreign suppliers for semiconductor chips — a position that severely weakens our standing on the world stage and exposes us to significant vulnerability. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, any supply chain disruption can leave our nation paralyzed. With 90 percent of all advanced semiconductor chips currently produced in Taiwan and 85 percent of memory produced in South Korea, Taiwan or China — coupled with tensions rising with China — we are a mere conflict away from catastrophic impact on the semiconductor supply chain.
The CHIPS and Science Act levels the playing field from a national security perspective and puts our nation on competitive footing in the face of increasing threats from China. By prioritizing domestic production of semiconductors and bolstering our supply chain, we are making a necessary national security investment. Semiconductors power critical national security infrastructure and applications such as artificial intelligence, signals processing and next-general computing that power military communications, detection and targeting.
Devoting federal resources to domestic semiconductor manufacturing has the potential to be transformative. But this transformation will not happen overnight, and it will not be accomplished without continued attention and resources from the Biden administration and from the states. Public-private partnerships and higher education programming geared toward preparing our workforce must strengthen and expand. Initiatives at the state level must continue and adapt to address challenges at the local level related to workforce development, child care, housing and economic development.
These are challenging but navigable tasks, and the benefits of reshoring our domestic manufacturing production of semiconductors will certainly lead to a stronger economy and more secure nation.
We recognize that there is a long way to go but are hopeful that, one year in, we’re just starting to see the benefits of this momentous legislation.
The authors are all former Republican members of the House. John Katko represented New York’s 24th District. Fred Upton represented Michigan’s 6th District. Rodney Davis represented Illinois’ 13th District. Chris Jacobs represented New York’s 27th District. David McKinley represented West Virginia’s 1st District.