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Biden urges Congress to pass chips bill after Intel makes Ohio plant commitment

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden praised Intel Corp. for plans to build a $20 billion semiconductor hub in Ohio and urged Congress to pass stalled legislation that would provide $52 billion for chip research and manufacturing in the U.S. amid a global shortage.

“I want other cities and states to be able to make announcements like the one being made here today,” Biden said Friday at the White House, flanked by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. “And that’s why I want to see Congress pass this bill right away and get it to my desk.”

The Biden administration has been pushing to bring more chip manufacturing to the U.S. to alleviate a shortage that stems from increased demand and supply chain kinks linked to the pandemic. But there have been few tangible results.

A lack of chips has caused production delays for consumer electronics and automobiles, and led to furloughs. The price for used cars, in large part due to a shortage of chips, continues to be a component of surging inflation.

Biden’s comments came after Intel said Friday it plans to build the massive chipmaking hub on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, which the company expects to grow to be the world’s biggest silicon-manufacturing site. The plant is expected to be operational by 2025.

“Most semiconductors today are sourced overseas,” Gelsinger said at the White House. “As a country, we cannot rely solely on imports for such essential technology. And the only way to address this economic and security risk is to increase our domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity.”

Even as Biden has taken a hit for all the broader supply-chain troubles across the economy, he has been slow to press for passage of legislation that includes funding for chips. Biden and other officials including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo have signaled the overall need to boost domestic output.

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