Chipmakers doubled lobbying spending in CHIPS Act push
Intel Corp. and Micron Technology hiked their lobbying spending to record levels as they pushed Congress to approve billions of dollars in new subsidies.
The CHIPS and Science Act, signed into law in August, provides chipmakers with $78 billion in grants and tax breaks to manufacture semiconductors in the U.S. in an effort to lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign-made microchips.
Intel Corp. spent $2 million to deploy lobbyists to Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, Commerce Department and President Biden’s office in the third quarter of 2022, according to a report filed with Congress.
That’s roughly double the sum Intel spent during the same period last year. The company deployed multiple lobbyists who previously worked for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Micron Technology shelled out $1.3 million on lobbying in the third quarter, a year-over-year increase of 155 percent. The company contracted with lobbyists who previously served as top aides to Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The leading chipmakers warned lawmakers that they would cancel planned manufacturing facilities in the U.S. if Congress didn’t pass the bill before the August recess.
“Do you want those investments in the U.S., or do we simply lack competitiveness to do that here that we need to go to Europe or Asia for those?” Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” prior to the bill’s passage.
Intel earlier this year said it would build a $20 billion chipmaking facility in Columbus, Ohio. Micron recently announced plans to invest up to $100 billion over the next two decades to build a semiconductor factory in upstate New York.
Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said that the investment would strengthen “U.S. technology leadership as well as economic and national security, driving American innovation and competitiveness for decades to come.”
Semiconductor companies in recent decades outsourced microchip production to Taiwan, South Korea and China, prompting concerns that the U.S. could eventually lose access to chips that are used in everything from appliances to military weapons.