FederalLocal NewsTaxes & SpendingAbbott Calls for Passing CHIPS Act, Touting Samsung’s Plans to Expand Williamson County Plant

According to Abbott’s press release, the passage of a congressional bill is “a major factor for this potential investment by Samsung.”
July 22, 2022
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Governor Greg Abbott praised the prospective expansion of Samsung facilities in Texas this week, taking the opportunity to call for passing a congressional bill to prop up the American semiconductor industry.

On Wednesday, Abbott issued a statement applauding Samsung’s decision to potentially expand the facilities in Taylor and Austin to include 11 new semiconductor manufacturing plants.

“Close partnerships with companies like Samsung — who recognize the boundless possibilities Texas has to offer — are bringing greater opportunities to Texans, and this potential investment will bring billions of additional capital to continue growing our world-class business climate and diverse, highly-skilled workforce,” Abbott stated.

“These new facilities solidify the Lone Star State as the nation’s leader in the semiconductor industry, and I thank Samsung for increasing their investment in the hardworking people of Central Texas.”

According to Abbott’s press release, the passage of a congressional bill is “a major factor for this potential investment by Samsung.”

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Congress is currently considering the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) Act of 2022, a piece of subsidy legislation that has divided D.C. Republicans.

Part of a thousand-page appropriations bill, the act would devote $54.2 billion to develop onshore domestic manufacturing of semiconductors. A summary of the CHIPS Act of 2022 can be read here.

Abbott urged Congress to pass the bill in a second press release yesterday.

“I call on Congress to pass this legislation without further delay, so that Texas and the United States can continue to lead in the semiconductor arena while decreasing our dependence on foreign production and ensuring our national security,” he stated.

The first CHIPS Act was passed in 2020, carried by Texas lawmakers Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) in the House and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Senate. It was incorporated into the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Cornyn spoke for the 2022 bill in the Senate on July 18, calling subsidies for semiconductors necessary for national security.

“The fact is that the United States makes 0 percent of the advanced semiconductors that are necessary, from your iPhone to fifth-generation joint strike fighters like the F-35,” Cornyn said.

Not all Republicans are on the same page. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) called it “a vote more for inflation” and said it would aid rather than parry Chinese efforts to control American technology.

“If you are a company like Intel, this is what’s going to happen. Intel Corporation made $20 billion last year… We are going to give them some money to build a plant. Then we’re going to give them a tax deduction for building the plant, and then we are going to give them a tax credit for building the plant,” Scott said.

“And guess what? They can keep doing business in China… Sounds like a pro-China bill, not an anti-China bill, to me.”

With the help of hundreds of millions of dollars in both state and local tax incentives, Samsung announced last year that it would build a semiconductor plant in Williamson County, set to be finished in 2026.

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Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell is a reporter for The Texan, a Texas native, and a huge Allman Brothers fan. He graduated cum laude from Trinity University in 2020 with a degree in English. Isaiah loves playing music and football with his family.