Brown Pushes For Policies That Will Make Ohio a Tech Hub



Brown Joined Nonprofit OhioX for Virtual Roundtable

WASHINGTON, DC – June 30, 2022 – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a virtual roundtable event with OhioX, a statewide nonprofit association with a mission focused on building Ohio into a tech hub. Brown is working to invest in American innovation and advanced manufacturing, and to create good-paying technology jobs in Ohio.
As a part of this, Brown has played a leading role in ensuring the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) passed the Senate in June of 2021. Companion legislation has also passed the House of Representatives. Brown said he expects negotiations to begin soon on a final bill, which would support Intel’s plan to build a $20 billion semiconductor plant in New Albany, which is expected to create 10,000 jobs.
“Ohioans know that for too long, we’ve let innovation move abroad. Even technology that we invented increasingly gets commercialized by our competitors,” said Brown. “So much of what we’re doing is about combatting that, keeping innovation here, and burying the term ‘rust belt.’ The infrastructure bill we passed last year is going to work together with these innovation investments, and together they they have the potential to be transformational for our state’s economy.”
 
All sectors of the economy need access to semiconductor chips, and the need is particularly significant for the domestic auto industry. Today’s cars include high-end electronic components that improve vehicle efficiency and safety, and these electronic components rely upon semiconductors to function.
“OhioX and our members are grateful that Senator Brown joined us to discuss Ohio’s exciting tech momentum. It’s vital we build technology in America and Ohio is the perfect place to do it,” said Chris Berry, President of OhioX. “Ohioans are building our state into the Silicon Heartland and Senator Brown’s leadership on issues such as the CHIPS for America Act is vitally important as we work to build Ohio into a tech hub.”
 
The U.S. relies heavily on overseas production of semiconductor chips. Currently 75 percent of chip manufacturing capacity is in Asian countries – mainly Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China. Shortages have caused severe supply chain issues for Ohio manufacturers, leading to long wait times and higher prices for goods Ohioans rely on. Brown has pushed for key provisions in the CHIPS for America Actwhich is a part of USICA, and would provide $52 billion to fully implement American semiconductor production and which Intel has said is necessary for its investment in Ohio. This will help address supply chain disruptions, lower prices, and ensure that more semiconductors are produced here at home.
Brown has been working to secure solutions for the semiconductor crisis for the last year, having written a letter with Sen. Portman to Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, urging the administration to support efforts to secure the necessary funding to swiftly implement the semiconductor-related provisions in the most recent defense spending bill, to boost semiconductor manufacturing and incentivize the domestic production of semiconductors in the future.
 
Brown has worked for decades to build an economy that encourages investment in the United States, especially the expansion of domestic manufacturing. In January, Brown joined President Biden, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Senator Rob Portman to announce that Intel will build a $20 billion semiconductor plant in New Albany. The plant will establish a long-term, reliable source of semiconductors, which are essential to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. It also will support critical Ohio industries, like the auto industry and other high-tech manufacturing.
Brown worked with local and state leaders and other members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation to ensure that Intel chose Ohio for what will be its most advanced manufacturing facility in the world. This project will help reverse decades of offshoring American manufacturing. With this facility, chips will become a major Ohio export.