Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest producer of silicon chips used in computers and other electronic devices, announced on Friday that it would build a factory in Arizona.
The company, a major Apple supplier, said on Friday that it welcomes “continued strong partnerships” with the US federal government and the state of Arizona. The factory is projected to open in 2024 and employ approximately 1,600 employees.
“The US welcomes TSMC’s intention to invest $ 12 billion in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor plant in the world,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. “This deal strengthens US national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge technology and control critical industries.”
However, the new TSMC plant could help the company seek to prevent the introduction of economic sanctions against Chinese technology giant Huawei, which the US considers a national security threat. TSMC is a major supplier to Huawei and would take a heavy financial toll if the United States approved a proposed ban on the sale of semiconductor technology to Huawei.
Although the factory has an output of 20,000 chip wafers per month, a relatively small amount for TSMC, the decision to open the factory comes at the same time as the US expresses concerns about supply chain dependence in China and other Asian countries. During the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers have criticized the US dependence on Chinese medical supplies manufacturers.
“We shouldn’t have supply chains,” President Trump said Fox Business on Thursday. “We should have them all in the US”