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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at White House Press Briefing


Hello, everyone. It’s an honor to be here. Today is an incredibly exciting day for those of us who love CHIPS.

Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and the bipartisan work in Congress, we have an incredible opportunity to unleash the next generation of American innovation, protect our national security, and preserve our global economic competitiveness.

For decades, our innovation ecosystem has been in decline. This is the beginning of a new chapter in U.S. innovation and R&D where we reverse that decline and lead the world again.

CHIPS for America represents a historic investment in our domestic manufacturing industry, which has critical implications for our economic and national security.

With this funding, we’re going to make sure the U.S. is never in a position where its national security interests are compromised, or key industries are immobilized due to our inability to produce essential semiconductors here at home.

Over the last year, we saw the impact of the chips shortage on America’s families when car prices drove more than a third of inflation, factory workers were furloughed or household appliances were simply unavailable.

As our economy and our military become more reliant on technology, it is essential that we develop a strategy with values, outcomes and structures that enable us to plan for an economy and manufacturing infrastructure that positions us to compete today, but also in the future.

Today, I want to take a few minutes to share an update with you on how we, at the Department of Commerce, are planning to implement the $50 billion in CHIPS Act funds that we will be overseeing.

With CHIPS for America, we’re setting out to achieve four primary objectives:

  1. Establish and expand domestic production of leading edge semiconductors in the US, of which the US currently makes 0% of the world’s supply
  2. Build a sufficient and stable supply of mature node semiconductors
  3. Invest in R&D to ensure the next generation semiconductor technology is developed and produced in the US.
  4. Create tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs and more than hundred thousand construction jobs. This effort will ensure the pipeline for these jobs expands to include people who have historically not had a chance to participate in this industry, including women, people of color, veterans and people who live in rural areas.

To achieve these goals, CHIPS for America will support three distinct initiatives.

Two of those initiatives, totaling $39 billion, will make investments in domestic chip manufacturing here in the United States.

First, we’re going to make large scale investments in leading edge manufacturing. CHIPS for America will target approximately $28 billion in manufacturing incentives to establish domestic production of leading-edge logic and memory chips that require the most sophisticated processes available today.

Second, we’re going to invest approximately $10 billion in new manufacturing capacity for mature or current-generation semiconductors, new and specialty technologies, and suppliers. This will help us increase domestic production across a range of semiconductors, including chips used in defense, autos, communications technology, and medical devices.

Finally, we’re going to make historic investments to strengthen America’s research and innovation leadership. $11 billion will go to research and development programs, including the creation of a National Semiconductor Technology Center.

We expect to be in a position to receive applications from companies no later than early February 2023, with a priority on funding applications for the incentives programs.

After that, we will rigorously evaluate the applications we receive and negotiate deals for successful applications. We will work to issue awards and loans as quickly as we are able to responsibly process them.

Before I close, I want to take a minute to send a very clear message about how we plan to protect taxpayer dollars in this program.

  • CHIPS funds may never be used for stock buybacks.
  • CHIPS funds are not intended to replace private capital and taxpayer funds will only be used to fill gaps, secure other funding and as loan guarantees.
  • And these funds are intended to help companies maximize the scale of their projects. Meaning, if a company already has funding for a $10 billion project, we’d like them to think bigger and tell us how our funds can help them achieve a $50 billion project.

We will not hesitate to clawbacks funds if awardees fail to start or complete their projects on time or fail to meet certain commitments.

And we’re going to implement guardrails to ensure those who receive CHIPS funds cannot compromise national security by sending the latest technology overseas.

The American people are counting on us to get this right and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

No one has done more to revitalize American manufacturing than President Biden, and CHIPS for America is a key component of that work.

We’ll be able to jumpstart the high-tech manufacturing that will drive economic growth for decades.

We are going to create the kind of jobs that you want to see as an opportunity for Americans in the workforce today, but we’ll also create the kind of jobs that provide the future you want to see for your kids.

We are going to revitalize an innovation ecosystem that for decades has atrophied. We will add rocket fuel to our global competitiveness, ensuring that America maintains its status as a leader for generations to come.

And by investing in America’s greatest strengths – our unrivaled innovation and our diversity of talent – President Biden has outlined a vision for one of the biggest, boldest projects America has undertaken in the last 80 years.

It’s an agenda that protects our national security and provides a blueprint for long-term economic prosperity. I’m ready to get to work.