President Biden at Ohio’s Intel Fab Groundbreaking: “The Industrial Midwest is Back.”

By Matthew McMullan
Sep 09 2022 |
President Biden wears his victory shades at the Intel factory groundbreaking. The White House’s YouTube channel

The CHIPS and Science Act has played a large role in spurring semiconductor manufacturing investments.

President Biden broke out the aviator sunglasses during a trip to suburban Ohio on Friday afternoon, where he spoke at the groundbreaking of a $20 billion Intel semiconductor chip factory. They made a big thing out of it. The Intel CEO was there. So was the governor. The Ohio State University Marching Band played.

Remember this from January? Today’s factory groundbreaking is the one Intel, the U.S.-based computer and tech manufacturer, said it would spend $20 billion to bring to central Ohio, and the company said it would potentially spend much more to establish other factories at the site … provided the federal government kick in and help with the cost via the CHIPS and Science Act. The president often cited Intel’s investment and its promise of even more when pressing Congress to act on that bill.

And, lo and behold, the government actually kicked in. The CHIPS Act passed Congress in July and was signed into law in August, allocating $52 billion for the domestic manufacture of semiconductor chips and investing heavily in scientific research and development.

Getting the CHIPS bill signed was a huge priority for the Biden White House for a very straightforward reason: More U.S. manufacturing capacity of semiconductors, an input crucial to basically every manufactured product that has any electronics in it, will greatly alleviate a larger manufacturing bottleneck exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic’s supply chain slowdowns. Chip production is heavily concentrated in Asia, specifically Taiwan, and countries around the world have since raced to build up their own chip manufacturing capacities.

The American version of that effort was the CHIPS Act, and it – combined with last year’s infrastructure bill, last month’s Inflation Reduction Act that puts billions into the manufacture of clean energy technologies, and the Biden administration’s insistent rollout of tightened Buy America procurement rules – is a huge piece of what’s essentially a federal industrial policy meant to bring more manufacturing back to the United States.

“Made in America is no longer just a slogan,” the president said in his remarks at the foundry’s construction site in New Albany, just east of Columbus. “It’s happening.”

He continued:

Since I signed (the CHIPS Act) it’s already started happening. The American company Micron announced it’s going to invest $40 billion in the next 10 years to build factories for special chips called memory chips that store information on your smartphone. That’s gonna create 40,000 good-paying jobs and increase America’s share of the memory chip market 500%.

Two other companies, GlobalFoundries and Qualcomm, announced a $4 billion partnership to produce chips in America that would otherwise be made overseas. Qualcomm is one of the world’s largest designers of chips and is planning to boost production by up to 50% over the next five years.

Today, in North Carolina, Wolfspeed is investing $5 billion to make chip devices for electric vehicles that’s gonna create 1,800 good-paying jobs over five years.

Folks, the future of the chip industry is going to be Made In America.

This is all good news, as it’ll mean more American manufacturing jobs and an enormous amount of economic activity in communities like New Albany in the coming years. We’ll be watching out for more announcements of domestic manufacturing investments as the funding behind these bills rolls out.

You can watch Biden’s full remarks at the Intel groundbreaking here: