It is not really possible to be entirely independent in a manufacturing process especially when the product is a complex device like a smartphone. However, it is possible to minimize dependence as much as possible. Over the past few months, there have been reports that the U.S. is trying to lure certain manufacturing giants to build factories in the U.S. The likes of Intel, Samsung and TSMC are on its list. Since Intel is an American company, it is very active in this regard.
At present, Samsung and TSMC have a fab in Austin and Washington State, respectively. However, the scale of production is not large and these fabs are mainly for R & D / testing. In fact, the process they handle is not the most advanced thus it does not meet the requirements of the US government.
Regarding this offer from the U.S. government, TSMC has reiterated its position a couple of times. According to the Taiwanese chip maker, It is continuously assessing the possibility of building factories outside Taiwan. The U.S. is one of the options. However, there is no comprehensive decision presently.
TSMC will consider these variables before entering the U.S.
According to reports, TSMC will probably consider three main conditions before it builds a factory in the U.S. It will have to look at the economic effects, cost advantages, and personnel/supply chains. Only when these elements are available can it be possible to build a plant in the U.S.
In addition to a 16nm process fab in Nanjing, TSMC’s main forces are all local (mainly in Taiwan). Its 7nm and 5nm fabs are also in Taiwan, including the most advanced 7nm and 5nm processes. At present, its 3nm plant project with a cost of up to $20 billion is also in Taiwan. This means that the company does not really do major manufacturing outside Taiwan.
For semiconductor factories, capital, technology, manpower, and customers are all important factors. The decision to build a factory cannot be made casually, otherwise, the investment of tens of billions of dollars could disappear.