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U.S. Takes Security-First Focus in Doling Out $39 Billion Chip Aid

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Chipmakers are seeing drops in revenue and profit as computer and phone producers in particular cut orders.

Credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

As President Joe Biden's administration prepares to accept requests for $39 billion in funding to jumpstart US production of microchips, his commerce chief emphasized the program's focus is strengthening national security rather than boosting struggling chipmakers.

The US next Tuesday will unveil applications for the manufacturing part of the funding under the Chips and Science Act passed last year and will be "crystal clear" in its selection criteria, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

"I expect there will be many disappointed companies who feel that they should have a certain amount of money. The reality is the return on our investment here is the achievement of our national-security goal," Raimondo told reporters.

She spoke ahead of a speech in Washington on Thursday where she laid out the broad vision for the program through 2030. The plan is to try to return manufacturing to the US by building at least two new clusters of leading-edge logic-chip manufacturing, with a supplier ecosystem and research and development facilities, employing thousands of workers.

From Bloomberg
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