Arizona Governor Doug Ducey traveled to Taiwan on Tuesday to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss a multibillion-dollar semiconductor manufacturing deal.
Arizona is set to build a $12 billion Phoenix plant for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., reported the Associated Press. TSMC announced last year that it would be investing $3.5 billion in the new U.S. factory.
Intel Corp. announced in March 2021 that it would fund two additional Arizona semiconductor factories. The company has been manufacturing in the state since 1980 and plans to invest another $20 billion in the additional facilities.
Governor Ducey and Arizona’s Chamber of Commerce president and head of economic development were the latest U.S. officials to visit Taiwan, despite repeated warnings from China. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb traveled to the self-governing island last week to strengthen foreign relations and discuss the processor chip industry.
Semiconductors are crucial for nearly all electronics, such as smartphones, computers, high-tech weapons systems, medical devices, and vehicles. In December 2021, Reuters reported that TSMC produced more than 90% of the world’s processor chips.
The semiconductor industry was invented in Silicon Valley, but Taiwan now dominates the market. According to Fast Company, Intel produced nearly 40% of the world’s output of processor chips in the 1990s.
U.S. officials are now prioritizing semiconductor manufacturing in the country. In July, Congress passed a law offering more than $52 billion in grants and other aid to the processor chip industry. The CHIPS Act would also provide a 25% tax credit to those who invest in U.S. factories.
State officials nationwide are vying for semiconductor factories in their communities to boost local economies and strengthen the country’s technology independence.
In addition to the two factories breaking ground in Arizona, Intel also announced a $20 billion investment in an Ohio chip factory.
Samsung Electronics revealed that it would build a new $17 billion facility in Austin, Texas.
In response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s previous visit to Taiwan in August, China began running live-fire military drills off the island’s coast. On Tuesday, President Tsai Ing-wen told troops to remain calm despite the ongoing threats, ABC News reported. The president stated, “The more provocative enemy soldiers are, the more stable we need to be. We will not allow those on the opposing banks to manufacture a conflict with an inappropriate excuse.”