PORTLAND, Ore — At a appearance at Stark's Vacuums in Northeast Portland Saturday morning, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden pushed a package of incentives and subsidies to increase semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.
Wyden is one of the driving forces working for passage of the CHIPS for America Act, which would come with a $52 billion price tag.
There's also something called the FABS Act that would establish a tax credit for investing in the design and manufacturing of semiconductors.
“This is a national security issue as well as an economic issue,” said Wyden at the vacuum store.
Semiconductor chips are found in everything from vacuum cleaners to cars and appliances these days.
But there's been a shortage of chips since the pandemic forced the closure of factories. Countries in other parts of the world have since worked to open new factories to produce chips, but that has not happened in the U.S.
The CHIPS for America Act would be an important boost to U.S. chip makers like Intel, whose staff were also in attendance at Stark's.
“The longer Congress delays passing CHIP, manufacturers will continue to invest outside the United States,” said Gabriela Cruz Thompson of Intel.
Chip makers say they are trying to meet demand, but they need help.
“The reality is we can't expand fast enough to meet the unprecedented demand that we see from our customers,” according to Dan Malinaric of Microchip Technology Inc.
The legislation has strong bipartisan support in Congress and is a top priority for the Biden administration. Senator Wyden's goal is to get Congress to vote on the legislation before the Senate recess in August.