Kelly, Sinema, Stanton, Colleagues Ask Biden to Fully Fund Initiatives to Increase U.S. Semiconductor Production

Today Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema and Representative Greg Stanton led a bipartisan group of 70 Senators and Representatives in requesting that President Biden fully fund initiatives to expand semiconductor manufacturing on American soil and create high-paying jobs authorized in the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act that were enacted as part of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act. 

Arizona, home to 16 semiconductor companies, is a leading state in chip manufacturing with companies looking to expand their existing operations in the state. Recently, Kelly and Sinema applauded Intel’s announcement to build two new chip factories in Arizona amidst the global chip shortage. Additionally, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced its plans to build a mega site with six factories in Arizona which would create thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs for Arizonans. Samsung Electronics is also actively considering opening a new U.S. manufacturing facility in Phoenix.

“Increasing the production of semiconductors on American soil is an economic and national security imperative. Arizona is a leader in the sector, proven by recent investments by Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Funding the CHIPS Act will create thousands of high-paying jobs, and be critical to our national security to ensure our competitiveness over China and on the global stage,” said Senator Mark Kelly. 

“Building on our recent success passing our CHIPS for America plan, continued investment in semiconductor manufacturing creates good-paying jobs across our state, strengthens our national security, and ensures our country continues to lead in innovation,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

“The bipartisan CHIPS initiative is critical for both our economy and our national security—and now we need to ensure it is fully funded,” said Rep. Greg Stanton. “When high-tech and semiconductor companies build and scale in Arizona, they add new, quality jobs and lift up our entire economy. CHIPS will help strengthen Arizona’s—and America’s—leadership in chip-technology innovations,” said Representative Greg Stanton.

Last month, Kelly held a call with a group of Republican and Democratic Senators and Brian Deese, chairman of the National Economic Council, to discuss the need to quickly provide full funding for the CHIPS for America Act programs included in last year’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, which included key elements of the CHIPS for America Act that will bring semiconductor manufacturing jobs to Arizona. 

Last year, Kelly worked to pass key elements of the CHIPS for America Act, which provides federal incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing designed to spur investment, and also makes investments in research and development of semiconductor technology. Sinema, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, was an original cosponsor of the CHIPS for America Act and championed its passage into law

The full text of the letter is HERE and below:

April 12, 2021

Dear President Biden,

We write today to encourage you to prioritize securing funding to implement the initiatives authorized in the CHIPS for America Act that were enacted into law as part of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (referred to as the ‘CHIPS provisions’). We would specifically request you consider joining us in support of funding levels that are at least the authorized amounts proposed in the original bill as you work with Congress on a package of policies to better compete with China and how best to strengthen our country’s economic competitiveness and resiliency as well as national security. 

While signing your Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains on February 24, 2021, we were pleased to hear your comments: “bipartisan work has already been done…We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable. I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industrial leaders to identify solutions to this semiconductor shortfall and work very hard with the House and Senate.” We agree that the United States must build on the bipartisan Congressional efforts to authorize the CHIPS provisions and now swiftly move to fund these programs so they can be implemented and begin to address the current supply-chain vulnerabilities that threaten our national and economic security and ensure our nation’s continued global leadership in this critical technology. We are especially encouraged by the opportunity to do emergency mandatory funding for implementation of CHIPS as part of a competitiveness package the Senate is currently compiling, and would welcome your support in that effort.

The United States cannot wait to provide these resources over the years ahead. The halted production lines for consumer technology, auto manufacturers, truckers, and other critical industries due to a semiconductor shortage further highlights the pressing need to act quickly and fund the enacted bipartisan provisions. 

In your Build Back Better initiative, you recognized the value of restoring critical supply chains to U.S. soil to help revitalize our domestic manufacturing capacity and create good-paying jobs. Full funding and implementation of CHIPS would reinvigorate our economy by creating high-paying jobs, developing talent pipelines for American workers, and increasing technological innovation. The CHIPS provisions authorize funding for manufacturing, R&D and job-training programs, with a focus on creating pathways for Americans to acquire the skills necessary for these jobs, including expanding employment opportunities for disadvantaged workers. Ensuring these provisions are fully funded would support thousands of American jobs and create a ripple effect throughout the economy, benefiting countless industries, communities and working families.

In addition to enabling sustainable economic growth today, funding the CHIPS provisions is a top national security priority. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has aggressive plans to reorient and dominate the semiconductor supply chain, pouring over $150 billion in semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and investing $1.4 trillion in their efforts to become the dominate global technological power. Even full funding of the originally filed CHIPS provisions pales in comparison to the investments being made by the CCP, which speaks to why consideration of an even higher level of funding is worthwhile.

The United States must also work with our allies and strategic partners to out-scale the CCP in manufacturing capabilities for advanced semiconductors. If we lose these highly-skilled jobs and know-how to China, the United States will never recapture them. Further, we risk dependence on a strategic competitor for the advanced semiconductors that power our economy, military, and critical infrastructure. 

As you develop your FY 2022 budget request, we encourage you to include some initial investments to support semiconductor R&D and manufacturing at agencies like Commerce, DOD, DOE, and NSF as intended by CHIPS. 

Finally, should you explore executive actions to address this urgent semiconductor matter, we encourage you to continue pursuing a technology neutral approach.

We are committed to meeting the national imperative of securing our critical supply chains and look forward to working with you and your Administration to achieve this vital objective.