TEXAS, USA — The U.S. Senate is expected to soon pass a bill that could significantly boost the production of semiconductor chips here in the United States. And Texas would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of all.
Senator John Cornyn has been working on the project for two years. The Republican says it has become clear during the pandemic that many supply chains remain vulnerable.
“And as we began to look at it, 90% of all the semiconductors that run technology from your cell phone to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter come from overseas, which is an unacceptable risk,” Senator Cornyn said on Inside Texas Politics.
Senator Cornyn says it’s currently cheaper to build manufacturing facilities in Asia than the United States and the subsidies and tax breaks featured in the bill will level the playing field and entice domestic companies to stay home, or foreign companies to build here.
State lawmakers, including Speaker Dade Phelan, are calling on Congress to pass the bill, which they argue will create more high-income, high-skilled jobs in Texas.
For instance, the CHIPS Act is expected to fuel a large Samsung expansion in central Texas. Samsung filed paperwork to build as many as 11 new semiconductor factories between Austin and Taylor, which would amount to nearly $200 Billion in new investment. Documents show it could also create more than 10,000 jobs.
And in north Texas, the CHIPS Act could impact a planned silicon wafer facility in Sherman. Those wafers are a critical component used to make semiconductor chips. The GlobalWafers facility would create as many as 1,500 jobs.
But some critics call it corporate welfare. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, says the tens of billions of dollars would be better spent addressing other domestic priorities, such as health care.
Senator Cornyn says the United States can’t wait.
“When you consider the consequences of natural disasters, pandemics or maybe even a military conflict between China and Taiwan, the risk is just unacceptable. So that’s the reason why this is so important.”
Senator Cornyn tells us he expects the CHIPS Act to pass this week and that the House will promptly consider the legislation