(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — With Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost co-leading the charge, a bipartisan group of 14 state attorneys general called on Congress to approve $50 billion in incentives included in the CHIPS Act to accelerate U.S. production of microchips and end the overreliance on foreign imports.
“Virtually all modern-day products and amenities depend on microchips,” Yost said. “So it’s absolutely vital that domestic chip production become a national priority.”
Microchips, also known as semiconductors, are essential to a wide variety of consumer products – from electric toothbrushes to pickup trucks – as well as complex defense hardware, such as satellites and advanced fighter jets.
“Increasing domestic production will not only ease supply-chain issues for consumer products, it will also serve to ensure that the equipment our nation relies on to defend itself and its allies is available when we need it,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter sent to congressional leadership.
The CHIPS (or Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) Act would provide $50 billion in incentives for U.S. companies to manufacture microchips. The House and Senate has each passed a version of the legislation, with details of those needing to be reconciled in conference.
Noting that “evidence of overreliance on foreign microchip production is all around us,” the letter cited as an example the empty lots and fields throughout the country that have become parking lots for incomplete vehicles waiting for microchips from overseas.
“At the height of the shortage last year, Ford parked thousands of incomplete trucks at the Kentucky Speedway, but that number was only a fraction of the tens of thousands of vehicles that were parked while waiting on their chips.”
The push for Congress to pass a mutually agreeable version of the CHIPS Act is being led by Yost and Vermont’s Acting Attorney General Joshua R. Diamond.
“Our states and many others stand to benefit directly from increased investment in domestic microchip production,” the letter states. “Indeed, every U.S. state and territory benefits when our national security is not dependent on the whims of a foreign nation’s microchip production and exports.”
Besides Yost and Diamond, the letter was signed by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia.