Due to the computer chip shortage sparked by COVID-19, Samsung has announced that it will be building a $17 billion facility outside Austin, Texas, aimed at supplying the country with the required amount of computer chips. Most United States companies are dependent on Taiwan for chip production, which poses a national security threat in the age of COVID according to Nina Turner, who is a research analyst for the International Data Corporation.
“It’s a concentration risk, a geopolitical risk” to be so reliant on Taiwan for much of the world’s chip production”, says Turner. The United States is hoping the factory will bring jobs to the country, and gain more leverage over economic rivals such as China.
Congress has said that they will subsidize the semiconductor industry, which marks an interesting change in policy when it comes to the the economy. Historically, the US government has been quick to support policies like the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, which outsourced millions of jobs overseas to countries like China, Taiwan, and the Philippines: the very countries the US is now intimidated by due to their increased level of influence and power.
The market share that the US holds in worldwide chip manufacturing has dropped from 37% in 1990 to 12% in 2021. It’s pretty frustrating that the government waits until the last possible minute to even attempt to solve important problems, but hopefully they’re able to provide more jobs to United States citizens moving forward through initiatives such as this one, especially ones that have to do an industry as profitable as media and technology.