ARIZONA NEWS

President Joe Biden touring Phoenix chip plant Tuesday, touting economic agenda

Dec 6, 2022, 8:56 AM | Updated: 6:59 pm

PHOENIX – President Joe Biden is coming to Phoenix on Tuesday to tour a massive chipmaking plant under construction and tout his economic agenda.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly and Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton were on the plane with Biden from the Washington D.C. area to Luke Air Force Base, according to the White House pool reporter. Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, Kelly’s wife, is also in the traveling party.

Gov. Doug Ducey, Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego are also scheduled to be on hand when Biden tours the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company site. Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose company has committed to buying Phoenix-made chips from TSMC, is among the business leaders who will attend.

The site Biden will visit near Interstate 17 and Loop 303 is expected to open in 2024. TSMC announced early Tuesday it will build a second Valley facility, increasing its Arizona investment to $40 million.

The president is scheduled to speak around 2 p.m. The speech will be carried live on KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Biden has staked his legacy in large part on major investments in technology and infrastructure that were approved by Congress along bipartisan lines. The Democratic president maintains that the factory jobs fostered by $52 billion in semiconductor investments and another $200 billion for scientific research will help to revive the U.S. middle class.

Biden administration officials said the two Arizona TSMC plants as well as new factories by Intel, Micron, Wolfspeed and others could give a decisive edge to the American military and economy at a time when competition with China is heating up.

The White House has simultaneously launched a video campaign to highlight the array of non-tech jobs associated with the semiconductor industry. Biden has visited four other computer chip sites since September, with the highly paid factory jobs promising spillover hiring for construction, janitorial services and other businesses.

Ronnie Chatterji, White House coordinator for the chip investments, said these investments will shape entire regions of the country in ways that are overlooked now.

“Ten years from now we’ll be talking about all the jobs in Arizona,” Chatterji said in an interview. “You won’t be able to talk about that part of Arizona without thinking about the impact of those companies.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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President Joe Biden touring Phoenix chip plant Tuesday, touting economic agenda