President Joe Biden touched down in Arizona on Dec. 6 for the first time since the 2020 election to visit the construction site of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) chip plant in North Phoenix. At the event, TSMC announced an additional $28 billion of investment in Arizona, growing from $12 billion to $40 billion. The $12 billion investment was already the largest in Arizona history.

“In terms of scale, this is the largest foreign direct investment in Arizona history, and it’s one of the largest in U.S. history,” explains Brian Deese, National Economic Council Director. 

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That additional expenditure will bring a second TSMC facility to Phoenix, which will produce 3 nanometer (nm) chips — the most advanced semiconductors on the market — by 2026. Moreover, the plant currently under construction will be upgraded to manufacture 4 nm semiconductors instead of 5 nm chips as originally planned. Semiconductors are foundational components of products such as computers, phones, cars, laundry machines and military technology. During the pandemic, global supply chains were disrupted and proved to be a weakness, both for economic and national security. 

“When you saw these vulnerabilities during the pandemic, the question was, ‘Could Washington come together under President Biden’s leadership to actually make our supply chains more resilient, and put a historic down payment on American competitiveness?'” says Ronnie Chatterji, National Economic Council Acting Deputy Director for Industrial Policy and Special Advisor for CHIPS Implementation. “The CHIPS and Science Act made that a reality. When you look at the string of investments the president has announced since then, culminating with TSMC, it’s a validation that the strategy is working.”

TSMC’s two facilities represents a significant milestone in bringing advanced semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S. — a key goal behind the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which Biden signed into law in August. That piece of legislation, along with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, marks a departure from the hands-off economic philosophy ascendant in Washington for much of the last 40 years.  

In Biden's TSMC remarks, he named two local business owners who've benefitted from the president's focus on infrastructure and manufacturing.
President Joe Biden speaks at the construction site of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) chip plant in North Phoenix.

“All of this is actually about building an economic strategy that goes beyond semiconductors,” Deese notes. “Over the last two years, the president has been articulating a vision of an economic strategy to build from the bottom up and the middle out, and that is predicated on the idea that having an industrial strategy for the country is critical, and that providing stable long term public investment will crowd in private investment at historic scale.” 

Deese stresses that this plan doesn’t try to exclude private companies, but instead encourages private investment at a historic scale. “As a result of the economic legislation the President has passed. We will catalyze $3.5 trillion in public and private investment over the next decade in just the infrastructure innovation and clean energy sectors alone,” he says. 

Biden spoke to what this strategy means for economic opportunity in places such as Phoenix, along with the importance of workforce development for communities. He also discussed how small business owners, construction workers, engineers, senior citizens and families across Maricopa County are beginning to feel the positive impact of his policies taking effect. 

Executives from TSMC’s supplier base and customer base also attended the event, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, TSMC’s founder Morris Chang, Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, among others. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly, and U.S. Representatives Gallego, Grijalva and O’Halleran and Stanton will attend. In addition, Governor Doug Ducey, Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords will also be present.