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Officials await reconciliation of federal semiconductor manufacturing bill

Posted on March 22, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT

Leaders in Washington cited strengthening domestic semiconductor production as a way to address supply chain problems, boost competition and create jobs. Officials in New York are hoping for billions of federal incentives.

The Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act last June. The House passed the Law on COMPETITIONS in February. Both laws contain $ 52 billion for the so-called CHIPS law, which funds domestic research, design and production of semiconductors.

In his address on the state of the Union earlier this month, President Biden called on Congress to take action on a bill to encourage semiconductor production. The Democratic president pointed out Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger in the audience.

“Pat came to see me and told me that they are ready to increase their investment from 20 billion dollars to 100 billion dollars. That would be one of the largest investments in production in American history. And all they have to do is adopt this bill. So let’s not wait any longer. Send it to my desk. I will sign. And we’re really going to go a long way. “

New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, said that 52 billion dollars of funds to support the production of semiconductors will be “a strong blow to the hand”.

As the House and Senate begin to harmonize their laws, Tonko said on Tuesday that he hoped an agreement could be reached “very soon”.

“As far as semiconductors and the microelectronics industry are concerned, our bills are almost a copy. And so that section, when the conference is held, will largely approve of that CHIPS activity within every law, ”Tonko said.

Tonko was part of a group of lawmakers who wrote to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo earlier this month calling for the National Center for Semiconductor Technology and the National Program for Advanced Packaging Production to be located in New York. The entities were established under the CHIPS Act.

President Biden’s commitment to funding semiconductors has caught the attention of New York officials, including Gov. Kathy Hochul.

In a tweet on March 1, Hochul thanked Biden for highlighting the issue in his national address, adding in part: “My administration has laid the groundwork for cementing New York as a national semiconductor manufacturing center, and we are ready to make its vision a reality.” ”

Hochulu was joined in January at the Albany NanoTech Complex by his colleague, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, making the campus an ideal location for the Technology Center.

“And guess what I had in mind when I wrote it: a six-letter word, A-L-B-A-N-Y,” Schumer said.

Following the enactment of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, Schumer visited Malta, where GlobalFoundries semiconductor manufacturers are headquartered.

There, GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield announced plans to build an existing Fab 8 plant and build another factory at the Luther Forest site, which currently employs 3,000 workers.

“This new plant will require billions of investments, and will not only support U.S. production, but will also add approximately 1,000 new jobs directly from GF and thousands of jobs indirectly – including construction and infrastructure jobs.”

GlobalFoundries says it has invested more than $ 15 billion in its Fab 8 site.

Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus likened the incentives to boost semiconductor production in 2022 to the hundreds of millions of dollars invested to attract the high-tech industry ahead of the 2009 Malta Revolution.

“What you need is similar to what we had to do 12 years ago to attract AMD, there had to be some incentives to lower production costs,” Shimkus said.

In addition to federal semiconductor funding, Shimkus said money is needed for state infrastructure to support the proposed expansion of GlobalFoundries.

“We need investments at the federal level, we need investments at the state level. And what it will do is generate private investment, and we are talking about $ 15 billion, more than $ 15 billion or more of private investment. That will absolutely have an impact throughout the region, “Shimkus said.

As GlobalFoundries considers its expansion, the TEC-SMART campus of Hudson Valley College – home to the Clean Technologies Early College High School program – is also planning an expansion.

In February, the Saratoga County Supervisory Board voted to provide $ 1.5 million to support the new construction.

Todd Kusnierz is chairman of the county committee.

“The reason the measure has been so comprehensively supported is that GlobalFoundries is right here in the district and partnerships that can be achieved from an educational standpoint,” Kusnierz said.

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