Taiwan Semiconductor is working to bring vital suppliers to Arizona, where it's building a plant that will produce computer chips on the “cutting edge of technology.”
The $12 billion factory will employ 1,600 high-tech workers and produce a 5-nanometer chip, smaller and more powerful than the 7-nanometer chips currently considered state of the art. The smaller the chip, the more powerful it is.
The company “hopes to bring their supply chain with them,“ Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday.
The chipmaker has eight key suppliers, and having them in Arizona will allow for “vertical integration” there, which should “facilitate even more activity,” he added. Intel and ON Semiconductor already operate in the state.
Construction will begin next year, and production at the plant is slated to start in 2024.
The announcement comes as shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated concerns that the U.S. has become too reliant on production in Asia for key technologies.
“We shouldn’t have supply chains," President Trump told Bartiromo in an interview that aired Thursday. "We should have them all in the U.S.”
Separately on Friday, the Commerce Department said it will amend its foreign direct product rule and the so-called entity list of people and companies facing restrictions on business in the U.S. to target Huawei's acquisition of semiconductors. The changes are intended to protect national security, the agency said.
Huawei has been exploiting a loophole that allowed the use of U.S. technology with foreign fabrication firms.
The new rule is "very highly tailored" to try and close that loophole and "make sure that the American fab foundries are competing on an equal footing with the foreign ones," Ross said.