Ohio Groups, Lawmakers Praise CHIPS Act Passed to Boost Intel Investment

by J.D. Davidson


The lack of federal subsidies Intel said was holding up its planned $20 billion chip plant in suburban Columbus cleared the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

The CHIPS Act, which passed 64-33, would provide $52 billion to U.S. semiconductor manufacturers to help build plants to make microchips. After announcing in January plans to build and create 3,000 jobs at a microchip facility in Ohio, Intel pulled back over the summer, canceling its July 22 groundbreaking while the federal money remained in limbo.

“Today’s passage of the CHIPS Act is critical in the effort to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States, protect our national security and create thousands of high-paying jobs in Ohio,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “I was proud to help lead efforts in the Senate to pass this legislation and ensure that Intel’s planned semiconductor plant in central Ohio remains on track and reaches its full potential. Intel’s announced investment is already the largest in Ohio’s history and the company has indicated that with this CHIPS legislation its record investment will grow even larger over time.”

The Senate version now moves back to the House, where Portman urged quick passage and a signing by President Joe Biden.

Opponents argued the bill serves as both $250 billion in taxpayer subsidies to multi-billion-dollar companies and would subsidize construction of factories in China.

Portman, though, said Tuesday in a CNBC interview that language was inserted into the bill he believes can avoid China concerns.

“We did insert some language that I supported on the so-called guardrails to avoid just what you had talked about. I think that’s important. China is very interested, as you know, in investing a lot of money in chips and providing huge incentives, far more than what we are talking about in the CHIPS legislation here, and so are other countries, by the way, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan of course,” Portman said in the interview.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in January an additional 7,000 construction jobs could come from the project that is expected to add $2.8 billion to the state’s annual gross project.

Ohio committed nearly $2 billion in incentives and tax breaks to Intel.

“The best thing this does – with the CHIPS Act – is to make sure these jobs are brought home,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a Twitter video statement.

Business and manufacturing groups throughout the state praised Senate passage.

“Ohio’s economy stands to benefit even more from the transformational nature of Intel’s investment in semiconductor manufacturing in our state thanks to the CHIPS Act, which will bolster American manufacturing and national security,” said Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association called passage and Intel’s planned investment a unique opportunity for the state and country.

“Right now, our country has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and ensure it consistently competes and wins on the world stage,” said Ryan Augsburger, president of the OMA. “Just as it has since its earliest days, Ohio will play a key role in the next chapter of American innovation. It is time to finally enact this game-changing investment.”

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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square. 





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