Samsung asks U.S. to ensure equal chance for CHIPS Act incentives

Samsung Electronics Co. called on the United States to give foreign chipmakers an equal chance to compete for state incentives to expand production capacity and solve a continuing chip shortage, a document showed Tuesday.

Washington should “ensure that all qualifying companies should be able to compete for CHIPS Act incentives to pursue semiconductor projects in the U.S. on an even playing field, irrespective of their country of incorporation,” Samsung said in a response submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department.

That way, the act could fulfill its objectives of “increasing U.S. semiconductor capacity,” the South Korean company said, by encouraging “new private capital investment in the semiconductor ecosystem.”

The CHIPS Act is aimed at boosting U.S. chip manufacturing capacity and capability, and shoring up supply chains, ultimately restoring its manufacturing prowess.

If enacted, it would offer chipmakers US$52 billion in grants and subsidies to rev up chip production in the U.S.
Global competition for chip dominance has heated up amid the global shortage of semiconductors that has crippled production of cars and consumer appliances.

Samsung is building a $17 billion advanced chip plant in Texas, with the mass production to begin in the latter half of 2024.

The company has been running manufacturing operations in the U.S. for more than four decades and is employing over 20,000 Americans.

Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip maker and second largest contact chip manufacturer, said it was “committed to expanding our U.S. footprint in the near, mid-term, and long-term.”

Earlier this year, Intel announced a $20 billion investment for the construction of two new chip fabrication facilities in Ohio and said it planned to spend much more for a “megafab” project over the next decade.

The U.S. chipmaker also acquired Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor last month at $5.4 billion to gain more dependence from overseas chip contract manufacturers.

Taiwan’s TSMC also recommended in a comment that federal assistance be awarded “on the merits of the application,” which should be handled “equally, fairly and consistently.” TSMC is the world’s biggest contract chip manufacturer with more than 52 percent market share by sales.

“Arbitrary favoritism and preferential treatment based on the location of a company’s headquarters is not an effective or efficient use of the grant and ignores the reality of public ownership for most of the leading semiconductor companies,” it said.

TSMC is also building a plant in Arizona and is said to be considering constructing more plants in the U.S.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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