Following passage of CHIPS and Science Act, Casey makes the case for investments to be made in Pennsylvania
Commonwealth has semiconductor manufacturing facilities, research universities, world-class logistics and transportation infrastructure, and more
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo making the case for Pennsylvania as an optimal destination for investments made possible by the CHIPS and Science Act. Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act in 2022 to boost American manufacturing, particularly in the semiconductor industry. As the Commerce Department begins to implement the law and award investments, Pennsylvania’s existing semiconductor manufacturing facilities, world-class research universities, and robust pipeline of high-skilled workers make the Commonwealth a strong candidate for investment.
“My team and I have been on the road in the Commonwealth, touring semiconductor manufacturing facilities and cutting-edge research institutions, and meeting with the American workers and business leaders at the center of this industry,” Senator Casey wrote. “I am hopeful that semiconductor manufacturers like Infinera—which fabricates advanced optical wafers right in Allentown and whose main competitor is Chinese technology giant, Huawei—could capitalize on CHIPS funding to recapture and secure a critical piece of our supply chain while creating thousands of well-paying American jobs.”
Full text of the letter is below and the signed PDF is HERE .
March 3, 2023
The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Dear Secretary Raimondo:
As you consider investments to revitalize our Nation’s domestic semiconductor industry and supply chains, I write to you to highlight the extraordinary assets in Pennsylvania that make our Commonwealth an ideal location for investment that will support a semiconductor ecosystem, bolster our national security, and secure our global competitiveness. From research universities to national defense equipment factories to a world class logistics and transportation infrastructure located within close proximity to the majority of Americans, the Commonwealth offers the leading-edge production, design, research, high-skill talent, and regional advantages that align with the goals of the CHIPS for America program.
The CHIPS and Science Act is historic legislation that will enable us to make more products in America, including crucial semiconductor chips to power cars, computers, and smartphones.
Currently, the United States only produces 12 percent of semiconductors in the world—down from 37 percent in the 1990s—as foreign competitors, including the People’s Republic of China, are heavily investing in the industry. Decades of off shoring in this industry means that we will have to work hard to build out our domestic production and talent here at home, and away from countries that threaten our national and economic security. The CHIPS for America program will help the United States better compete with the People’s Republic of China, and Pennsylvania companies, institutions, and workers are well-positioned to make that happen through potential groundbreaking investments in the Commonwealth.
My team and I have been on the road in the Commonwealth, touring semiconductor manufacturing facilities and cutting-edge research institutions, and meeting with the American workers and business leaders at the center of this industry. I am hopeful that semiconductor manufacturers like Infinera—which fabricates advanced optical wafers right in Allentown and whose main competitor is Chinese technology giant, Huawei—could capitalize on CHIPS funding to recapture and secure a critical piece of our supply chain while creating thousands of well-paying American jobs.
The opportunities in Pennsylvania do not stop there. Home to nearly 300 colleges, universities, and technical schools, the Commonwealth’s robust talent pipeline will feed the next generation of advanced manufacturing and innovation. STEM education and workforce development are critical to the advancement of the goals of the CHIPS and Science Act and Pennsylvania’s higher education institutions, such as Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others, stand ready to engage with communities and semiconductor manufacturers to drive economic development, high-skill job creation, and long- term global competitiveness.
Recent investments in the Commonwealth demonstrate that Pennsylvania is on the vanguard of global innovation and has a track record of success in leveraging those awards. As a prime example, southwest Pennsylvania recently received a $62.7 million award through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge to invest in robotics and autonomy. On the other side of the state, numerous federal investments in life sciences have been leveraged to achieve generational breakthroughs in health and wellness. This track record of success is proof that Pennsylvania companies and community leaders are ready to receive and leverage government investment through the CHIPS for America program. I ask that, as you and your team consider where to make investments, Pennsylvania companies, institutions, and workers are given full and fair consideration as you seek to foster semiconductor ecosystems both regionally and across the supply chain.
Thank you for your consideration. I commend you and the Administration for being a champion for U.S. global competitiveness and national security. I look forward to working with your Department, in coordination with Pennsylvania state and local policymakers, to leverage these investments to drive American competitiveness, boost American workers and industry, and ensure our national and economic security.