The Biden administration's Chips Act has pumped money into the industry to bolster U.S. production and reduce foreign dependency, but it comes with challenges that include the slow roll of building factories, building a workforce, and competing for expertise.
"I've never seen a tsunami like this," Daniel Armbrust, a former chip trade group leader, told The New York Times.
More than 35 U.S. chip companies have pledged almost $200 billion for new chip manufacturing since the spring of 2020, while the Biden administration dangles $76 billion in grants, tax credits, and subsidies to help the U.S. regain ground it has lost in the industry for decades.
The Times calls it the largest U.S. investment in manufacturing since World War II.
But, the experts told the Times all the money pumping will take time to get the factories rolling and might ultimately only dent the foreign dependency on semiconductor chips.
One expert, Tufts University's Chris Miller, author of "Chip War: The Quest to Dominate the World's Most Critical Technology," said the ramp up is "not going to try or succeed in accomplishing self-sufficiency."
U.S. factories currently produce just 4% of the world's chips.
"We still have a dependency that is not being impacted in any way shape or form," Synaptics CEO Michael Hurlston, whose company designs chips in Silicon Valley and relies on Taiwan factories to produce them.
The new U.S. factories will add 40,000 new jobs to the current total of 277,000 U.S. semiconductor industry employees, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
But it will take years to build up the factories, and train and hire the workers, and that would be merely to play catchup with the world on the more simple, mass produced chips.
The complex chips will take years to educate and build up the scientists, engineers, and experts for the more cutting-edge semiconductors.
"We're going to have to build a semiconductor economy that attracts people when they have a lot of other choices," former Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in September, whose university built a semiconductor laboratory setting a goal to graduate 1,000 engineers each year and has SkyWater Technology building $1.8 billion manufacturing plant near its campus in Indiana.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Massachusetts Institute of Technology in November the U.S. still has the potential to deliver the world's best and brightest, calling it "an advantage that is America's to lose."
"And we're not going to let that happen."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.