The House of Representatives recently passed the America COMPETES Act which aims to make the U.S. more competitive with other countries such as China. It includes provisions from the CHIPS for America Act which would give $52 billion to semiconductor chip manufacturers with the goal of bringing the production of chips back to the U.S. as demand for the technology rises. The bill would also give a boost to tech companies like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Samsung and Intel, all of which spent money lobbying on issues facing the semiconductor chip industry last year.
AMD began lobbying for the CHIPS for America Act in 2020, when it spent a total of $1.7 million on lobbying. In 2021, AMD spent over $4 million lobbying on trade issues, such as the CHIPS for America Act, and issues in science and technology. AMD was able to keep a steady supply of chips due to the fact that they were able to set up contracts prior to the shortage, and that 29 of their operations are located in the Asian Pacific versus the 11 operations in the U.S.
Samsung, an electronics company based in South Korea, also had the CHIPS for America Act as one of their lobbying bills. In 2020, Samsung spent over $3.3 million lobbying, with over $1 million spent in the third quarter overall. The company’s spending increased slightly to $3.7 million in 2021, and lobbied on issues in telecommunications and manufacturing. Last year, Samsung also announced the company would build a $17 billion factory in Texas to combat the chip shortage, hoping to have it operating by 2024.
Intel also lobbied for the CHIPS for America Act, starting in 2020 when the company’s total was over $3 million. Last year, the U.S. multinational technology corporation spent over $4 million on lobbying on an array of issues including the chip shortage, telecommunications, science and technology.
Like Samsung, Intel is planning to spend big to battle the chip shortage, with $20 billion budgeted to build two manufacturing sites in Ohio. The construction is expected to begin this year, and should be operational by 2025.
Last year, the Senate passed a similar bill called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that also included addressing the chip shortage. Like the House’s bill, it would provide $52 billion in funding for U.S. chip manufacturing. With two bills tackling the same issues, the next step would be for the Senate and House to reconcile their bills then send the final version to President Joe Biden to sign.
U.S. investment and fabrication projects in chips have been low, especially in comparison to other countries. Last year, multiple countries announced 25 expansions and projects while the U.S. announced only four. The U.S. is a global leader in many areas but has dropped 25% over three decades when it comes to chip manufacturing capacity. Meanwhile China is expected to have the largest chip production by 2030 according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Other countries also have their own incentives. China, for example, has passed multiple exemptions and given low-interest loans to chip manufacturers. The goal is to continue promoting its integrated circuit industry, which increased the country’s chip sales, surpassing Taiwan and rising to Europe’s level in January in 2020.
Support Accountability Journalism
At OpenSecrets.org we offer in-depth, money-in-politics stories in the public interest. Whether you’re reading about 2020 presidential fundraising, conflicts of interest or “dark money” influence, we produce this content with a small, but dedicated team. Every donation we receive from users like you goes directly into promoting high-quality data analysis and investigative journalism that you can trust.