Arizona leaders thrilled after Senate passes $52B microchip industry investment

Jul 27, 2022, 1:40 PM

PHOENIX – Arizona leaders celebrated Wednesday after Congress moved closer to passing a massive investment in the microchip industry, which is already booming in the Grand Canyon State.

The Senate approved the bipartisan measure by a 64-33 margin, including two resounding yes votes from Arizona. The House vote is expected later this week.

“For decades, some ‘experts’ said we needed to give up on manufacturing in America. I never believed that. Manufacturing jobs are back,” President Joe Biden said. “Thanks to this bill, we are going to have even more of them. The House should promptly pass it and send this bill to my desk.”

The bill includes more than $52 billion in grants and other incentives for the semiconductor industry as well as a 25% tax credit for those companies that invest in chip plants in the U.S. It also calls for spending about $200 billion for various research activities over 10 years, though Congress will have to follow through by including that money in future spending bills.

“That will mean tens of thousands of new jobs in places like Arizona, which is already a microchip hub poised to grow as Intel and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company expand and build new manufacturing facilities,” Sen. Mark Kelly said on the Senate floor after the Wednesday’s vote.

“That is all made possible by this legislation, and it creates jobs not just with those companies, but also with the companies that supply them the tools and packaging for their products.”

TSMC is building a factory in north Phoenix and Intel is expanding its microchip production in Chandler in a pair of multibillion-dollar projects.

“Today’s critical passage of our bipartisan legislation boosting semiconductor manufacturing in Arizona and investing historic resources in science and innovation will lower costs for families, strengthen our supply chains, support countless high-paying jobs, strengthen our national security – and, most importantly, stand the test of time. I’m proud of the lasting results our bill delivers for Arizonans,” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said in a press release.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she is confident there is enough GOP support to overcome potential defections from Democrats who view the subsidy effort to boost semiconductor companies as a misplaced priority.

Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona’s Republican governor, is hoping Pelosi is right.

“For Arizona and the U.S. to stay at the leading edge, our national investment climate must keep pace,” Ducey said in the press release and on social media. “I urge swift passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and a signature from the president. Let’s get this done.”

Here are some responses from other local leaders, as provided by the Arizona Commerce Authority:

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego: “We are fast becoming the United States epicenter for semiconductor excellence, complete with jobs and world-class training programs producing top talent. Passage of the CHIPS Act will have lasting impacts for the semiconductor industry and its suppliers, and it is critical to the competitiveness and innovation economy in Arizona and throughout the country.”

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke: “Semiconductor manufacturers operate on a global scale and can choose to make their next investment anywhere in the world. Passage of the CHIPS for America Act is critical to competing for future advanced chip operations and we are grateful to our federal partners for taking this important step forward.”

Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University: “We appreciate the bipartisan efforts, the work of economic development leaders throughout the state, and the governor and Arizona Commerce Authority’s leadership to make passage of the CHIPS Act a priority, work that follows what has been done at the state. The road ahead will require continued collaboration and a national network of contributors, and ASU is eager to put all of its resources to work for maximum impact.”

Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority: “This critical legislation will significantly strengthen U.S. competitiveness for semiconductors, bringing more jobs and investments to Arizona. In addition, Arizona is well positioned to benefit from new research funding advanced in the bill.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona leaders thrilled after Senate passes $52B microchip industry investment