With only days of voting remaining ahead of the winter recess, executives from dozens of companies that make or rely on semiconductors sent a letter to Congressional leadership Wednesday urging them to pass legislation tied to billions in subsidies for the U.S. chips industry.
The letter addressed to Democratic and Republican leadership asks Congress to pass at least $52 billion in incentives tied to a stalled bill that would offer subsidies for chip manufacturing, design, and research, among other things. The billions of incentives are aimed at reducing U.S. dependence on foreign sources and could help avoid future disruptions to the supply of chips used in goods ranging from weapons systems to home appliances.
The letter is signed by more than 50 executives, including Tim Cook, and General Motors CEO Mary Barra, as well as executives at dozens of chip companies, and other companies that rely on semiconductors.
“Unfortunately, demand for these critical components has outstripped supply, creating a global chip shortage and resulting in lost growth and jobs in the economy,” the letter says. “The shortage has exposed vulnerabilities in the semiconductor supply chain and highlighted the need for increased domestic manufacturing capacity.”
Fifty-two billion dollars worth of subsidies are included in the Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors, or CHIPS Act. It has passed the Senate, where it received bipartisan support, as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, but stalled in the House.
The executives also asked Congress to enact a strengthened version of the Facilitating American Built Semiconductors, or FABS Act, to include investment tax credits for design and manufacturing.The executives’ letter arrives two days after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo put pressure on the House to pass chip subsidies during a stop in Detroit. Monday Raimondo attended a roundtable with Democratic lawmakers and addressed the Detroit Economic Club with a similar message: “We need the House to pass the CHIPS Act immediately.”