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Biden is giving $6 billion to Micron for a semiconductor project in upstate New York

President Biden speaks with Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as they look at a mock-up of a semiconductor facility in Syracuse, N.Y.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
/
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden speaks with Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as they look at a mock-up of a semiconductor facility in Syracuse, N.Y.

Updated April 25, 2024 at 3:43 PM ET

President Biden traveled to Syracuse, N.Y., on Thursday to tout $6.1 billion in federal grants for Micron Technology that supporters say could bring an economic revival to the region and dramatically boost domestic U.S. semiconductor chip production to compete with China.

Biden said the investment was part of a push to bring manufacturing back to places like Syracuse. "That's a story seen in community after community nationwide — hollowed out, robbed of hope — but not on my watch," he said.

Micron plans to invest about $100 billion to build out a manufacturing campus in Syracuse's northern suburbs. The company is also building a factory in Boise, Idaho.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., — who played a critical role in enacting the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act as well as in directing the funding to his home state — said it would be the single largest private investment in New York history.

"This is the federal government taking back the reins, putting money where its mouth is when we say we want the future of tech to be stamped: 'Made in America,'" he told reporters ahead of the trip.

The White House said the Idaho facility is expected to be production-ready by 2026, followed by the two facilities in New York in 2028 and 2029. Locally, they could provide economic booms with the White House predicting the creation of 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs as well as tens of thousands of indirect jobs in the regions.

The pandemic showed the risks of chips shortages

Other big grants from the CHIPS project have gone to Intelfor projects in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon; TSMC for projects in Arizona; and Samsung for projects in central Texas.

The 2022 law was in large part a response to the 2020 pandemic, during which strained supply chains from China caused chip shortages in the United States. Chips are used in many common consumer electronic products, like smartphones and computers, as well as in cars. According to J.P. Morgan research, global auto production fell 26% in the first nine months of 2021 due to chip shortages.

Biden said the chips shortage had helped drive inflation. "Folks, I determined that I'm never going to let us be vulnerable to wait lines again. Where it's essential, we're going to make it here in America, together," he said.

The law is also intended to blunt China's technological and production advantages in the industry over the long term, which lawmakers like Schumer say is vital to U.S. security interests.

Biden also announced the creation of new "workforce hubs" designed to find and train future workers to support chip factories, as well as other White House efforts to replace lead pipes in certain regions. Those workforce hubs will be in Syracuse, as well as Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Politically, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan are part of the so-called "Blue Wall" for Democrats in that they are seen as critical to the party's prospects for winning presidential elections. Hillary Clinton lost all three states to Donald Trump in 2016. Biden won all three states against Trump in 2020, and his campaign is pushing to carry them again to win reelection this November.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.

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