According to media reports, the Trump administration is in talks with chipmakers, including Intel and TSMC, to build factories in the US. This move will help the US to reduce its dependence on Asian imports. Furthermore, reports claim that some officials in the US government are also trying to draft in Samsung. They are helping Samsung Electronics to expand its U.S. market by producing more advanced chips in the U.S.
Samsung is also in the mix
Samsung Electronics has a plant in Austin, Texas. The U.S. clearly saw its vulnerability after the outbreak of the new coronavirus. It realized that a huge amount of shipment from Asia (especially Taiwan) flows into the U.S. Taiwanese manufacturer, TSMC, is the world’s largest chipmaker and one of only three companies capable of producing the fastest, most sophisticated chips, according to the US media.
TSMC has discussed building the plant with officials from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Defense. The company has also had discussions with one of its biggest customers, Apple Inc. TSMC said it is actively evaluating all suitable locations, including the U.S., but has no concrete plans yet. Greg Slater, Intel’s vice president of policy and technology affairs, said Intel is “very serious” about the plan. Intel will operate a plant that supplies both the government and other customers, he said.
However, setting up a manufacturing plant in the U.S. can not be a straightforward affair. There are a lot of variables to consider before reaching a final decision. Obviously, the U.S. government really needs this to happen so talks of taxes and other government requirements may loosen. However, there will still be the “manpower” consideration which is very expensive in the U.S. Chipmakers will not want the final product to be “too expensive” for consumers. Many companies are now moving production to countries like Vietnam because of cheaper labour (and other reasons).