On Tuesday, President Joe Biden touched down in Arizona to tout a $40 billion investment by one of the world’s largest makers of semiconductors. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is opening a second chip plant in the state, upping its recent Arizona investment of $12 billion.
According to TSMC, the $40 billion commitment is the largest foreign investment in Arizona’s history and one of the largest foreign direct investments in the U.S.
The chips made at the site could eventually be used to power Apple iPhones. Apple CEO Tim Cook was also on hand at the Arizona announcement, alongside the president and Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su.
TSMC is in the process of building the first $12 billion plant in Phoenix, which is supposed to be ready for production in 2024. The company has also started production on the second site, which is set for the production phase by 2026.
The unprecedented semiconductor investment by TSMC and other major semiconductor manufacturers is powered by the CHIPS and Science Act. Since the act was first introduced in June 2020, semiconductor companies have announced 46 new projects worth more than $180 billion in U.S. investment creating 200,000 U.S. jobs through November 2022, according to a Semiconductor Industry Association analysis.
Of note, Samsung is planning a $17 billion semiconductor plant in Texas, while Intel is working on a $20 billion plant in Ohio.
Biden signed the bipartisan act this past August with a roughly $52 billion price tag attached, including $39 billion in manufacturing incentives to lure the likes of Taiwan-based TSMC, among others.
The decline in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing became glaring during the pandemic, when a global shortage of available chips had automotive and technology industries screeching to a halt. The chip shortage reportedly cost the auto industry $210 billion in revenue in 2021 and the price of new and used cars skyrocketed from low supply.
The U.S. share of global manufacturing capacity shrunk from 37% in 1990 to 12% in 2021, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.