“Securing this funding as soon as possible will help address severe shortages in the semiconductor supply chain and reestablish American leadership in global semiconductor manufacturing,” they said in the letter to House and Senate leaders of both parties.
Spanberger, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a former CIA case officer, said she supports the legislation to “remain competitive with China – which will not only provide economic opportunities for communities here in Virginia, but also prevent shortages that threaten to hike the prices of cars, electronics, home appliances and other consumer goods.”
The semiconductor chip industry was a major source of jobs in Henrico until 2008, when the Great Recession prompted the chip manufacturing to move offshore, primarily to Pacific Rim countries such as Taiwan and South Korea.
The U.S. share of the chip market has fallen from 37% to 12% since then, with Micron Technology, owner of an expanding factory in Manassas, the only remaining manufacturer of memory chips in the country.
The CHIPS Act includes money not only for technology research and development, but also support for construction of eight to 10 chip fabrication plants, or “fabs,” as Warner calls them.
“While these fabs won’t be built tomorrow, it will send a huge market signal and relieve some of the pressure on the auto industry,” he said.