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Biden administration to provide $6.1B to Micron for chip plants

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                President Joe Biden waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Joe Biden waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON >> The Biden administration has reached an agreement to provide $6.1 billion in government support for Micron Technology to produce advanced memory computer chips in New York and Idaho.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., personally courted Micron to build what would ultimately be a set of four chip factories in Syracuse — and noted in a Wednesday interview that the announcement was a sign to voters about how Democrats were reviving the manufacturing sector.

“It will be the biggest memory chip plant in America,” said Schumer. “For the Syracuse area, this is the best thing that’s happened probably since the Erie Canal.”

The comparison to the 1825 infrastructure project that connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean gets at the magnitude of the economic impact as well as the national security stakes.

Including the government support, Micron plans to invest $100 billion in upstate New York over the next two decades. The investment would lead to an estimated 9,000 direct jobs and 40,000 construction jobs. Micron has also announced plans for a $15 billion memory chip plant in its hometown of Boise, Idaho.

The funding comes from the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which is set to provide government support for new and expanded facilities being developed by Intel, TSMC, Samsung and Global Foundries, among other chip companies.

The law included $52 billion to support the domestic semiconductor industry, reducing the risk that the chip shortages experienced amid the pandemic could hurt the U.S. economy and national security.

The Democratic administration has set a goal for 20% of the world’s advanced chips to be made in the United States and has restricted the flow of chips into China.

A senior Biden administration official, insisting on anonymity to discuss the deal before its official announcement, confirmed the agreement with Micron.

President Joe Biden discussed in Pittsburgh on Wednesday the importance of computer chips that power everything from weapons to artificial intelligence to household appliances such as refrigerators.

Biden noted that Republican Donald Trump, the former president and his election-year rival, had not been as aggressive in boosting the sector and curbing China’s access to chips.

“For all this tough talk on China, it never occurred to my predecessor to do any of that,” Biden told a group of steelworkers.

Trump has told his supporters that China was “afraid” of him because he levied tariffs on the nation with the goal of supporting U.S. factory jobs. Biden has kept the tariffs and on Wednesday suggested plans to expand them on steel and aluminum.

“I took on communist China like no administration in history,” Trump told supporters at a Saturday rally in Pennsylvania.

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