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Stein joins bipartisan group of AGs calling for passage of CHIPS Act

computer circuitry
iStockphoto.com
File photo of computer circuitry

North Carolina's Josh Stein has joined a bipartisan group of 14 state attorneys general who want Congress to act on computer chip manufacturing.

The U.S. lags in production of semiconductors. Most are made in China, Taiwan, and South Korea.

“The U.S. share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has eroded from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, mostly because other countries’ governments have invested ambitiously in chip manufacturing incentives and the U.S. government has not,” according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade group.

A global chip shortage has caused headaches for automakers, who have raised prices and idled assembly lines.

Our states and many others stand to benefit directly from increased investment in domestic microchip production, and every state and territory benefits when our national security is not dependent on the whims of a foreign nation.
Attorneys general of 14 states in a joint letter to congressional leaders

The CHIPS Act aims to turn around this trend by offering chipmakers up to $50 billion in incentives to move production back to the U.S. The U.S. House and Senate have passed differing versions of the bill; a conference committee is working to come up with a compromise.

The attorneys general, led by Ohio Republican Dave Yost, sent a letter to congressional leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), urging them to get the bill to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible.

“The CHIPS Act will provide more than $50 billion in incentives to accelerate domestic semiconductor production, which in turn, will help to ease some of the supply chain constraints that have affected our markets,” the letter said. “More important, it will ensure that no foreign nation can exploit a chokepoint to harm our economy and our national defense. Our states and many others stand to benefit directly from increased investment in domestic microchip production, and every state and territory benefits when our national security is not dependent on the whims of a foreign nation.”

Several economic development projects in North Carolina could benefit from the bill, including a proposed semiconductor plant in Chatham County. But chipmakers, like Intel, are delaying investments in U.S. manufacturing until the bill is passed.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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