U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer visited Genesee County on Friday to tout the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and his three-pronged push to jolt the U.S. semiconductor industry and the Upstate New York economy into high gear.
“The economic and national security risks posed by relying too heavily on foreign semiconductor suppliers cannot be ignored, and Upstate New York, especially the STAMP Campus here in Genesee (County), is the perfect place to grow this industry by leaps and bounds,” Schumer said. “We must continue to invest in our domestic semiconductor industry in order to keep good-paying, high-tech American manufacturing jobs here in Upstate New York. We need to ensure our domestic microelectronics industry can safely and securely supply our military, intelligence agencies, and other government needs. This is essential to American jobs, our national security and to U.S. leadership in this critical industry.”
Schumer called for swift passage by Congress of the final Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), in which the senator successfully included an amendment that will continue U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and revitalize innovation in the global microelectronics sector.
Schumer’s second point is his push for a $1 million Northern Border Regional Commission grant that STAMP needs to construct a new sewer line to complete the 1,250-acre development’s wastewater system infrastructure. The sewer is the final piece of infrastructure that will make the STAMP campus shovel-ready for manufacturing facility construction.
Finally, Schumer will urge the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider the STAMP campus as the agency looks to partner with industry to develop new domestic semiconductor fabs. Combined, the Senator’s efforts will provide “unprecedented support” for the U.S. semiconductor industry and create opportunities to bring hundreds of jobs to Genesee County and Upstate New York, officials said.
Schumer noted that although the U.S. revolutionized the microelectronic industry and invented nearly all of the key technology used today, competitors in China, in particular, have made huge investments into their microelectronics industries in recent years to challenge and undercut U.S. leadership.
Schumer pointed out that the U.S. has gone from producing 24 percent of the world’s semiconductors in 2000, to just 12 percent more recently. In contrast, China has gone from producing zero chips to 16 percent of the world’s supply in the same time frame. The senator warned that by 2030, Asia is projected to control 83 percent of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10 percent, threatening U.S. reliance on foreign-made microelectronics, which could pose risks to U.S. national and economic security.
Schumer argued that his three-pronged plan to revitalize the semiconductor industry and incentivize it to build new research and manufacturing facilities in the U.S. at sites like STAMP is vital to cement global U.S. leadership in the microelectronics industry and will ease U.S. reliance on foreign-made semiconductors, alleviating economic and national security risks.
“Sen. Schumer’s leadership in the Senate’s passage of the American Foundries Act as a part of the National Defense Administrative Act will help put STAMP over the finish line as it will make available necessary funding to develop and construct the final pieces of infrastructure to stand up multiple semiconductor manufacturing fabs and along with it the creation of thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs to Genesee County and the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions,” said Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde. “Attracting semiconductor and similar industries at STAMP will result in as much as $10 billion to $15 billion of private sector investment, all of which will be enabled by this game-changing legislation.”
As part of his three-pronged approach, Schumer called on the DoD to consider STAMP as a location for next-generation semiconductor research and manufacturing facilities now that the DoD is in discussions with semiconductor manufactures to build new domestic chip manufacturing facilities to ensure U.S. leadership in the global microelectronics supply chain. Last month Schumer wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper to draw his attention to the opportunities for new semiconductor development at STAMP.
As a result, DoD officials participated in a meeting Schumer convened with STAMP officials to help position STAMP to capitalize on new opportunities through the DoD to attract semiconductor research and manufacturing facilities to STAMP.
Following Schumer’s unveiling of his bipartisan American Foundries Act and major push to bolster U.S. leadership in the microelectronics sector, he advanced his proposal as an amendment included in the Senate-passed Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA. The amendment:
• Directs the Secretary of Commerce to create a grant program for constructing, expanding or modernizing commercial semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, packaging and advanced R&D facilities in the U.S.;
• Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a partnership program with the private sector to encourage the development of advanced, measurably secure microelectronics for use by the DoD, intelligence community, critical infrastructure and other national-security applications;
• Requires the Secretary of Commerce to commence a review within 120 days assessing the state of the U.S. semiconductor industrial base;
• Establishes a Multilateral Microelectronics Security Fund, with which the U.S., its allies and partners will work to reach agreements promoting consistency in their policies related to microelectronics, greater transparency including supply chains and greater alignment in export control and foreign direct investment policies; and
• Directs the President to establish a subcommittee on semiconductor technology and innovation within the National Science and Technology Council; directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a national semiconductor technology center to conduct research, fund semiconductor startups and a Manufacturing USA Institute; create a National Advance Packaging Manufacturing Program; and encourage the Secretary of Labor to work with the private sector on workforce training and apprenticeships in semiconductor manufacturing.
In his letter to Secretary Esper, Schumer noted the region’s talent pool.
“STAMP leverages the region’s robust world-class university centers that include SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University at Buffalo, University of Rochester and Cornell University that are leaders in research, commercialization, workforce development and collaboration. Several of these nearby university centers have active engineering programs with disciplines focused on training and R&D activities related to semiconductors,” Schumer wrote.