Almost a dozen governors call on Congress to boost domestic semiconductor production


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during the Detroit Branch NAACP’s 66th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at TCF Center in Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Nic Antaya/Detroit News via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, sent a letter to Congressional leadership pushing for quick action on behalf of the U.S. auto industry and its workers to approve full funding of the Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.

The legislation would turbocharge U.S. production of semiconductors, including the “mature node” chips. 

Governor Whitmer had the support of Governor Evers (WI), Governor Cooper (NC), Governor Beshear (KY), Governor Wolf (PA), Governor Ivey (AL), Governor Kelly (KS), Governor Pritzker (IL), and Governor Newsom (CA), who also supported the letter to Congressional leadership.

 “The global auto chip shortage has hit Michigan and states across the country hard, idling plants and slowing production, threatening thousands of auto-related jobs up and down the supply chain. With no end in sight, it’s clear we have no time to lose if we’re going to protect jobs and maintain our competitive edge. I am grateful for our Michigan Congressional delegation’s tireless work to address this crisis and fund these incentives and hope that Congress can follow suit and come together quickly to get this done. I will continue to use all the tools and resources I have to fight for every job in Michigan.” 

Governor, Gretchen Whitmer

The bipartisan, Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) included money for the CHIPS Act re-shoring provisions, $52 billion in incentives to boost domestic semiconductor production and research, $2 billion of which would be utilized for boosting production of the “mature node” semiconductors used by automakers and parts suppliers.

Whitmer believes these chips are also a primary component for other manufacturing sectors, including medical devices, agricultural machinery and radiation-proof chips.

The global auto chip shortage has impacted more than 575,000 auto-related American jobs. This year, automakers in North America lost approximately 2.2 million vehicles, which amounts to over 3,000 days of work. 

According to Whitmer, the shortage does not appear to be slowing. Some experts are hypothesizing there will be adverse impacts on the auto industry through the first half of 2023.

“The CHIPS Act incentive provisions have garnered broad, bipartisan support, as reflected in the Senate, which passed USICA earlier this year by a vote of 68-32. While we understand that the House of Representatives has its own priorities with respect to the policies and programs included in USICA, we hope the two chambers will now come together quickly to find common ground with respect to this legislation, including full funding for the CHIPS Act re-shoring provisions, as soon as possible.”

The Governors wrote. 

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