If this is the preview, we can’t wait to see how the movie really turns out.
We’re referring to congressional crafting of two versions of legislation that support investment in domestic semiconductor production.
Just this week, the Senate — for a second time — passed funding for the CHIPS for America Act, including more than $52 billion in subsidies to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry. The bill would spend $190 billion to strengthen U.S. technology as it competes globally with China.
And on Feb. 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Competes Act of 2022, which similarly included approximately $52 billion in funding to boost the semiconductor industry.
We believe this action indicates Congress realizes semiconductors have become the backbone of an increasingly complex and technologically sophisticated global economy. With every sector of the Arizona economy touched by the global chip shortage witnessed in recent years, an urgent need has arisen to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign production, ensuring the long-term health and strength of our economy.
We hope the Arizona delegation, together with House and Senate leadership, prioritize swift reconciliation of the House and Senate versions of legislation that supports investment in domestic semiconductor production.
We know Arizona can play a lead role in the scenario to come.
Our business, academic and economic development community already expressed united support for investment in chip manufacturing. We are fortunate to live in one of a handful of states where the current U.S. semiconductor manufacturing landscape is concentrated.
And what Arizona offers is not just a supporting role. Consider that Intel and TSMC drew even more attention to the story so far as they start projects that will boost semiconductor manufacturing here to new heights. This is huge when you consider that the United States in 2019 made only 12% of the chips sold worldwide, down from 37% nearly three decades earlier.
Our state is seeing increased interest from international and national industries tied to semiconductors for investment here. More than 60 companies in the semiconductor supply chain are evaluating this market for investment, representing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment. But many of these projects will not come to fruition without this legislation.
Another reason for global interest in semiconductor manufacturing in Arizona is the training of our talent pool has become world-class. Take for example what is happening just at Arizona State University. Its Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has added the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks while the MacroTechnology Works at ASU Research Park is a fab created to advance research and development in the field.
We urge lawmakers to prioritize reconciliation of these two bills, with the goal of getting legislation to President Joe Biden for his signature as expeditiously as possible. While the early double feature is nice, we’re anticipating a solid blockbuster.
Chris Camacho is president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Steve Zylstra is CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.
Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.