ICYMI: Sen. Kelly Highlights His Bill to Boost Arizona Microchip Manufacturing in New Column

In case you missed it, last week, following the first meeting of the bipartisan conference committee tasked with finalizing the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly penned an opinion column in the Phoenix Business Journal emphasizing how his plan will tackle the global microchip shortage that is driving up costs, create thousands of good-paying jobs in Arizona, and reduce our reliance on foreign countries for this technology that is critical to our economy and national security. 

Recently, during debate on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, Kelly successfully pushed members of both parties to pass his motion that will boost American microchip manufacturing and research. Kelly’s microchip manufacturing plan first passed the Senate last year. 

In the coming weeks, Kelly will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate to finalize this bipartisan legislation where it will then be signed into law. 

Read key excerpts from Kelly’s op-ed below: 

On the need to act:  

“…After I was sworn into the Senate over a year ago, I hit the ground running by leading the fight to fully fund the CHIPS for America Act. After months of negotiations with my Senate colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, we reached a bipartisan deal to invest $52 billion to support the growth of the semiconductor industry in the United States, including right here in Arizona. Along the way it will improve lagging supply chains, create thousands of great-paying local jobs, and lower everyday costs for Arizonans.  

Right now, our microchip leadership is at risk because global competitors like China are rapidly building up their own domestic industries and technological capabilities. Semiconductors were first developed in the United States, yet the U.S. share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has declined from nearly 40% 30 years ago to only 12% today. This is worrisome, not only from an economic standpoint, but from a national security one, as well. These tiny devices are crucial for future technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G, quantum computing, advanced weapon systems, and more. We can’t rely on our adversaries to supply us with the technology we need. We must reshore the capacity to manufacture semiconductors….”  

On the work ahead: 
“…The bill we’ve worked so hard on is heading to a conference committee right now, which is a process where Members of Congress from both chambers will iron out the differences between their two bills. As one of the Senators chosen to serve on this conference committee, my priority during these final negotiations remains the same as when I started: work with Republicans and Democrats to deliver for Arizonans and deliver more manufacturing of microchips right here in the state, create thousands of high-paying jobs, fix for our supply chain issues, and lower costs for cars and appliances for families. 

And I’m not the only one recognizing our state’s potential: Intel and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company are just two examples of companies with plans in motion to bring more manufacturing to the Valley – and their ripple effect on our economy will be big. Thanks to our work on this legislation, it’s only a matter of time until more investments and more jobs arrive in Arizona…” 
Read Kelly’s full op-ed here.