Signage at the Ford Motor Co. Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn touts the electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which will be produced at the factory. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)
After the U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed legislation tackling the semiconductor chips shortage, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shared her support and called the bipartisan decision “a win for Michigan’s workers, manufacturers, and consumers.”
“This game-changing bill will make once-in-a-generation investments to set up the United States for decades of economic growth by bringing this vital supply chain home, creating and protecting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families,” Whitmer said of Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) Act, or House Resolution 4346.
Semiconductor chips are a vital part in many everyday products, including computers, home appliances and medical equipment like ultrasound devices, defibrillators and patient monitors. With a global shortage of these chips worsened by supply chain issues and the pandemic, industries and consumers have suffered.
The continuous shortage has plagued the U.S automotive industry, impacting more than 575,000 auto-related jobs in the country. It’s of particular concern to Michigan as the home of General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. Semiconductors are essential to the production of vehicles — especially electric vehicles. Monitors and sensors throughout cars require semiconductors for the vehicle to operate properly.
According to Whitmer’s office, this shortage has also translated into less income for workers, higher prices at the store, less products for consumers and increasing dependence on foreign suppliers.
The act would provide $52 billion incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. Of those funds, $2 billion are intended to incentivize production of “mature node” semiconductors used by automakers and parts suppliers.
These “mature node” chips are also used in medical devices, tractors, combines, and radiation proof chips used by the national defense industrial sector.
Whitmer noted her appreciation for Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), who championed the bill in the Senate.
“In the days ahead, I am confident that thanks to the strong support of our Michigan delegation, the House of Representatives will pass this bill,” Whitmer said.
“I urge them to send it to the president’s desk as quickly as possible so we can get the incentives laid out in the legislation out the door, build on Michigan’s economic momentum, and ultimately lower costs for Michiganders,” Whitmer said.
Peters and Stabenow too lauded the Senate’s action and pushed the House to do the same.
“The CHIPS and Science Act will strengthen our supply chains, support good-paying jobs, lower costs for families and bolster our national security,” Peters said in a prepared statement. “Now, I urge the House to quickly pass this bill, and send it to the President to sign it into law.”
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