The U.S. is working to “reclaim much of the leadership” in the chip industry, Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves said at Semafor’s Made in America event on Wednesday.
Despite China’s head start in the semiconductor race, White House initiatives like the CHIPS act has given the country “huge resources” to catch up, Graves said.
He said that companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company have said that even though don’t yet see the U.S. as a viable semiconductor hub, they are heavily investing in production sites across the country.
“I expect that we’re going to have a significant number of investments over the course of the next year — don’t be surprised to see some multibillion-dollar investments early in 2024,” Graves said.
He said that one area that Washington can improve on is providing more career paths and benefits for U.S. workers to entice them to work in the semiconductor industry. He said the country particularly lacks protections for women, such as childcare, which is why many women have not returned to the workforce since COVID.
“We have to do a better job of making sure we are reaching every community in the country,” he said. “Getting workers who have been on the sidelines into these great-paying jobs and that will help create economic growth and... will help sustain families for the long run.”
—With Helen Li