- The Washington Times
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Texas leaders and the White House are celebrating news that South Korean tech giant Samsung will build a $17 billion semiconductor plant outside of Austin, a move that could help fill a shortage of computer chips used in phones and cars.

“The largest foreign direct investment in the state of Texas EVER,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, tweeted Wednesday.

Samsung, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, said Wednesday it plans to start construction next year and begin operations by 2024. Mr. Abbott said the move will create thousands of jobs in his state.

Companies say a global chip shortage is making it difficult for supply chains to keep up with electric-vehicle ambitions, in particular.

The issue reached the attention of President Biden. He is pushing to increase the domestic production of semiconductors and batteries without relying on places like China or Taiwan, which Beijing claims as a breakaway territory.

Earlier this year, he touted a new battery-making partnership between Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation, a South Korean company, that will generate power from a plant in Georgia as part of the administration’s $174 billion electric-car initiative.

Brian Deese, president of the White House’s National Economic Council, said the Samsung plant will go a long way toward “protecting our supply chains, revitalizing our manufacturing base, and creating good jobs right here at home.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration has been working around the clock with Congress, our allies and partners, and the private sector to generate additional semiconductor manufacturing capacity and make sure we never again face shortages,” Mr. Deese said. “Today’s announcement is the result of sustained work by the administration, including engagement with Samsung and the president’s meeting with President Moon of the Republic of Korea in May where the two leaders announced they would facilitate mutual and complementary investments in semiconductors.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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