CHIPS Act is a 'Once in a Generation Investment' to Build Partnerships, Officials Say

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Secretaries Blinken and Raimondo detailed the bilateral agreements underway to support U.S. semiconductor leadership.

Biden Administration officials and local lawmakers discussed their optimism in the burgeoning chip manufacturing industry the CHIPS and Science Act aims to spur into production, speaking to the positive economic ramifications domestic microprocessor manufacturing will potentially yield. 

During a discussion at Purdue University in Indiana, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo talked about the public and private sector partnerships stipulated in the CHIPS Act, and how this federal investment will yield a strong industry infrastructure. 

“This is a once in a generation investment,” Raimondo said. “It's an investment in research and development workforce, public private partnerships, to rebuild the semiconductor supply chain here in the United States.”

Economic and national security were the two main motives for the massive investments in chip and semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. Blinken commented that jumpstarting a resilient semiconductor industry will help further U.S. global leadership at a broader level. 

“The fact is that when we invest in ourselves that has very positive and powerful effects on our standing in the world,” Blinken said. “Yes, we’re in a competition with China, among other things, and our ability in that competition to offer the best choice, the best alternative is what ultimately is going to carry the day. And that’s exactly what these investments will do.”

The CHIPS Act gained quick momentum on Capitol Hill due to the Biden administration’s desire to wean off of foreign dependence on technological input materials. Federal officials are looking to help the fledgling U.S. chips and semiconductor industry flourish with extensive public and private industry partnerships, including academic institutions and eventually more international agreements. 

Blinken noted that the U.S. is planning on forming more bilateral agreements with “likeminded” countries to help further the domestic production of chips. Blinken and Raimondo began the week in Mexico to discuss future economic cooperation and partnership. 

“I think one of the things that separates us is when government comes in, what it can do most effectively is to really be a catalyst for the private sector and other stakeholders in our country to move forward,” Blinken said. “So this is not about government doing and paying for everything.  It’s government, hopefully, bringing people together in a smart way, acting as a catalyst and inspiring the kind of investment we need to carry us forward.”