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Remarks by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Supply Chain Roundtable in Detroit


Thank you, Michelle, for that introduction. And thank you all for joining us today.

At the Commerce Department, we have one overarching goal: to improve America’s competitiveness so that our workers and companies succeed in the global economy.

From day one, President Biden has recognized that if we want to compete globally, we need to invest domestically. A major part of that is rebuilding American manufacturing, particularly our domestic semiconductor industry.

America created the semiconductor industry. 20 years ago, we produced nearly 40% of all chips.

But since 1990, American chip production has declined from 37% of global supply to just 12% today. 90% of the world’s leading-edge semiconductors are made in Taiwan.

Last year, auto prices drove one-third of core inflation, primarily because we don’t have enough chips. I know that you’ve felt the effects of that firsthand here in Michigan.

That’s why Secretary Raimondo and I have been urging Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which will create a $52 billion fund for chip production here in America and give us more tools to address the underlying long-term factors that are making critical U.S. supply chains fragile.

Companies like Samsung and Intel have indicated that their recent investments in American chip manufacturing are predicated on passage of the $52 billion in CHIPS funding in the Bipartisan Innovation Act.

Senators Stabenow and Peters have been instrumental in the fight to pass the bill in the Senate, and I want to thank them for their leadership. Getting this bill over the finish line will have real benefits for Michigan.

As you know, President Biden set an ambitious target to make electric vehicles half of all new car sales by 2030.

Increasing our production of electric vehicles means we’re going to need more semiconductors. The average EV has more than 2000 chips, roughly double as many as a car with an internal combustion engine.

EVs are the future of auto manufacturing, and it’s fundamentally a question of whether we want those jobs here in America, or somewhere else.

Meanwhile our competitors and trading partners are moving ahead to support their own semiconductor industries.

China has spent about $150 billion since 2014 and will be spending billions more. Their share of chip production is already higher than our share, and they will have almost 25% of global chip capacity by 2030.

Every day we wait is a day we fall further behind. We need Congress to act.

We’re also eager to hear from all of you today about how we can work together to support our supply chains, workers, business, and communities.

America’s success in the 21st century is dependent upon meaningful partnerships between the government, labor, educational institutions, and businesses. I hope you’ll consider the Commerce Department a resource and an ally.

So let me thank you again for joining today’s roundtable, and for your commitment to Detroit’s workers, businesses, and economic growth. We’re excited to work with you.

Now, let me introduce our next speaker. Senator Debbie Stabenow has served in the United States Senate since 2001 and has been a champion for working men and women. As the Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she’s been instrumental in passing the Farm Bill and making historic investments in our food system. And I want to thank her for being strong ally in the effort to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act.

With that, it’s my pleasure to turn it over to Senator Stabenow.