Updated: President Biden signs CHIPS act

The bill provides $52 billion in grants and other incentives for the semiconductor industry and a 25 percent tax credit for companies that build chip plants.

President Joe Biden recently signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act, a multibillion-dollar bill aimed at boosting domestic computer chip manufacturing. The Biden administration also has announced new initiatives to assist with the bill.

“It will strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains and national security and invest in research and development, science and technology and the workforce of the future to keep the United States the leader in the industries of tomorrow,” the White House said in a statement. “The CHIPs and Science Act makes the smart investments so that Americans can compete in and win the future.”

The bill’s full name is the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act. According to its language, companies in the semiconductor industry will receive $52 billion in grants and other incentives and a 25 percent tax credit for those companies that build chip plants in the U.S. The chips could be used for vehicles, robotics and computers. Additionally, the bill gives about $200 billion to enhance scientific research.

“[The CHIPS Act] will accelerate the manufacturing of semiconductors in America, lowering prices on everything from cars to dishwashers,” Biden said in a statement. “It also will create jobs – good-paying jobs right here in the United States. It will mean more resilient American supply chains, so we are never so reliant on foreign countries for the critical technologies that we need for American consumers and national security.”

Broken down, CHIPS will provide $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles and defense systems, $13.2 billion in research and development and workforce development and $500 million to provide for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities.

In conjunction with the signing of the bill, the Biden administration has announced the launch of a sector-specific interagency expert working group on permitting and permitting-related project delivery issues for high-tech manufacturing. This group will build on the interagency CHIPS and Science Act planning to date between the Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Commerce.   

As a result of the law’s passage, companies have announced technology investments in the country. Micron, Boise, Idaho, is announcing a $40 billion investment in memory chip manufacturing, critical for computers and electronic devices, which will create up to 40,000 new jobs in construction and manufacturing. Qualcomm, San Diego, and GlobalFoundries are announcing a new partnership that includes $4.2 billion to manufacture chips in an expansion of GlobalFoundries’ upstate New York facility.

Previously, technology manufacturer Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, has said if the act passes, it will increase the spending on its microchip facility in Licking County, Ohio, from $20 billion to $100 billion.

The bill has garnered support from associations like the National Waste Recycling Association (NWRA). Recently, the organization signed a letter with 10 other organizations urging congress to consider the act.

“Technology in the waste industry is rapidly advancing,” says NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. ”Our member companies depend on a reliable supply of computer chips for trucks and other equipment. We urge Congress to pass this important legislation quickly.”

The letter says semiconductors are essential to nearly every sector of the economy, including waste and recycling, aerospace, automobiles, communications, clean energy, information technology and medical devices. Unfortunately, demand for semiconductors has outstripped supply, partly because of shifts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NWRA says this has created a global chip shortage and resulted in backlogs for orders of new waste and recycling industry vehicles and equipment. The lost growth and jobs across all industries resulting from the shortage have underscored the need for increased domestic manufacturing capacity that this legislation seeks to address.

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