The US will build at least two new large-scale semiconductor fabrication plants by 2030, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced late Thursday.
The plants known as logic fabs will be built by highly-skilled union labor and manufacture advanced memory chips on economically competitive terms, said Raimondo during her speech at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
"As global competition becomes increasingly about technology and chips, rather than just tanks and missiles, it's the countries who invest in research, innovation, and their workforces that will lead in the 21st century," she told.
The plan will use funds from President Joe Biden's $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act that was signed into law in August, as the Commerce Department will begin next week to receive applications from businesses for funding under the Act.
"The research, innovation, and manufacturing sparked by this law can enable us to be the technological superpower, securing our economic and national security future for the coming decades," Raimondo told.
She noted that the semiconductor technology is used in vehicles, medical devices and defense, from smartphones and cloud computing services to weapons systems.
While the Act also aims to compete with China in semiconductor industry and related sectors, Raimondo noted Beijing's competitiveness in the industry and how the US lagged behind.
"Over the last two years, China has produced more than 80% of new global capacity for certain mature chips, and their market share is growing ... In 1990, the U.S. accounted for 37% of global chip manufacturing capacity. Today, that number is only 12%," she said.
The Commerce secretary noted the US has lost a third of those jobs in the last two decades, while the global chip industry has more than tripled in size during that period.