Washington awards Micron $6.1 billion for two semiconductor factories

US President Joe Biden during a visit to Syracuse, New York, April 25, 2024 (AFP/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

The American semiconductor group Micron will receive up to $6.1 billion in subsidies from the US government to produce cutting-edge electronic chips in the states of New York and Idaho (northwest) , the White House announced Thursday.

This news was welcomed by American President Joe Biden, who visited Syracuse, in northern New York State, on Thursday, where the group plans to develop two factories, with the promise of several dozen thousands of jobs.

“During the pandemic, the closure of semiconductor factories abroad was the cause of a third of inflation in 2021, due to longer waiting times. It is out of the question that I let us be vulnerable in the future, we will make them here in the United States together,” insisted the American president during a speech on site.

These subsidies should support an initial investment of $50 billion led by Micron in these two states, by 2030, which will rise to $125 billion over the next twenty years, the White House said in a press release.

The Commerce Department could also grant up to an additional $7.5 billion to Micron in the form of loans.

Ultimately, the new factories should enable the creation of 70,000 jobs, with “tens of thousands of indirect jobs”, assures the American presidency, which presents Micron’s investments as being “the largest private investments in history” in New York and Idaho.

“They will produce the most powerful and sophisticated cutting-edge processors in the world,” insisted President Biden “they are essential for emerging technologies and will power the economy of tomorrow, with artificial intelligence and advanced communications”.

– “Protecting our economic security” –

Micron CEO Sanjey Mehrotra in Syracuse, New York, on April 25, 2024, during President Joe Biden's visit

Micron CEO Sanjey Mehrotra in Syracuse, New York, on April 25, 2024, during the visit of President Joe Biden (AFP/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

“We are pleased to make these significant investments in the United States, which will create many high-tech jobs,” Micron CEO Sanjey Mehrotra said in a Commerce Department statement.

“With this investment, we are working to achieve one of President Biden’s key goals, reshoring the development and production of the most advanced semiconductors, which are essential to maintaining our primacy in artificial intelligence and protecting our economic security and national,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, also quoted in the press release.

The “Chips and Science Act”, which dates from the summer of 2022, provides $52.7 billion to revive the production of semiconductors in the United States, with the idea that public money serves as a springboard for private investments.

The American government has already announced several significant subsidies for large groups producing semiconductors and planning to set up factories in the United States.

The South Korean giant Samsung was granted $6.4 billion on April 15 to produce cutting-edge electronic chips in Texas.

The world number one in semiconductors, the Taiwanese group TSMC, has committed to building a third factory in Arizona, receiving up to $6.6 billion in financing.

At the end of March, the American group Intel received a package of aid and subsidies totaling nearly $20 billion to increase the production of its semiconductors, while the company plans in particular to expand its facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon.

© 2024 AFP

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