Samsung said it would build a $17 billion semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas on Tuesday, giving a major boost to a bipartisan effort in Washington to convince chipmakers to build more components. than in the United States.
The company’s decision came after months of deliberation over possible locations in the United States and South Korea. The company, one of the world’s largest computer chip makers, looked at a site in Austin, about forty minutes from Taylor, as well as locations in Arizona and New York.
As Washington urged chipmakers to build more in the United States, cities raced to get a piece of the potential boom. Taylor went to great lengths to attract the Samsung factory. The city, independent school district, and surrounding county have promised the company hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks. Semiconductor factories require abundant water and reliable electricity, so they reached an agreement to transport water from the neighboring county to the facility.
Samsung’s decision comes amid a massive shortage of semiconductors, which are vital to products as diverse as the Ford F-150, medical devices and iPhones.
Lawmakers and the Biden administration are increasingly concerned that not enough critical ingredients are made in the US. China has invested heavily in encouraging computer chip production within its borders, and Taiwan and South Korea both produce the majority of semiconductors. Policymakers fear this puts the United States at an economic and national security disadvantage.
The Taylor plant will be the latest to be built in the US in recent years. This year, Intel broke ground on two new plants on its existing campus in Arizona. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is also building a new factory in the state.