Leahy, Schumer And Reed Press For Answers On Semiconductor Announcement

(WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been joined by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) in sending an oversight letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in support of developing the ability to produce advanced microelectronics in the United States, and asking for answers from the Administration about any U.S. Government incentives offered to Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) to announce opening a semiconductor fabrication plant in the United States.

Leahy said:  “Making sure our microelectronics supply chain is safe is one of our nation’s biggest challenges.  We need answers from the secretaries about what incentives or assurances have been given, and we need a plan to make sure that our domestic chip-making industry has the support and investment to compete.  I want to know that the United States Government is working hard to ensure that our existing microelectronics supplier base can thrive in a global market.”

Schumer said:  "In a competitive, uncertain, and interconnected world, rebuilding and protecting our microelectronics supply chain is a national security imperative. The security risks posed by relying almost exclusively on foreign microelectronics suppliers are too great. We need a robust national strategy to ensure our domestic microelectronics industry can safely and securely supply our military, intelligence agencies, and other government needs. This is essential to our national security and to U.S. leadership in this critical industry."

Reed said:  “We must take steps to better secure sensitive technologies and equipment from adversaries like China.  It is critically important to our national and economic security that the United States always possesses the most advanced microelectronics and that these products are not compromised.  Improving domestic manufacturing capacity is an important step towards this goal, but it must be part of a comprehensive plan that ensures access to, and security of, these materials."

Read the full letter here.

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Press Contact

David Carle (w/Leahy), 301-872-0665

Alex Nguyen (w/Schumer), press@schumer.senate.gov

Chip Unruh (w/Reed), 202-224-4642