Governor Whitmer Urges President Biden to Ensure CHIPS and Science Act Funds Are Invested in Michigan Semiconductor Manufacturing


November 20, 2023

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Governor Whitmer Urges President Biden to Ensure CHIPS and Science Act Funds Are Invested in Michigan Semiconductor Manufacturing

Implementation of CHIPS and the Science Act risks putting Michigan companies like Hemlock Semiconductor out of business, impacting the domestic supply chain

LANSING, Michigan – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to ensure funding from the historic bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act can be invested in Michigan companies, including Hemlock Semiconductor. This builds on months of advocacy and a recent letter from Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation.

“Michigan is outraged by President Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act, but concerned about its implementation,” said Governor Whitmer. “I wrote to the president today to urge swift action to ensure that the resources of the historic law can be invested up and down the semiconductor supply chain, including in Michigan companies like Hemlock Semiconductor, one of the most the major producers of ultrapure polysilicon, the foundational material for nearly every chip in the world. The president mentioned Hemlock when he signed the CHIPS and Science Act and joined an event with the company virtually that celebrated the legislation. If we get this right, we can build a powerful US semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. If we don’t, we risk losing our future to China. With the CHIPS Act and science, we have a fighting chance, but we need to invest in every part of the semiconductor supply chain. Together, let’s build the future we all want—one in which America leads.”

The full text of the letter is below and a link here:

Dear Mr. President:

Michigan produces the world’s best cars, vaccines and furniture. Another sector in which we lead is semiconductors. That’s why we were excited about the bipartisan passage of your CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (“CHIPS Act”), which will boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing. When you signed the bill, you specifically praised Hemlock Semiconductor of Michigan in your remarks. A week prior, Hemlock hosted an event where I signed an executive directive preparing Michigan to bring as many CHIPS Act resources as possible to you.

We were and continue to be heated by the CHIPS Act. It has the potential to support cutting-edge manufacturing in Michigan, bring billions of dollars to our state, and create thousands of good-paying jobs up and down the supply chain for workers with PhDs and those without degrees alike.

However, I am writing to you today because we have serious concerns about the implementation of the law, which could leave Michigan companies — including Hemlock — out of future CHIPS Act investments. A restrictive definition of “semiconductor manufacturing” was issued by the Commerce Department earlier this year. If adopted by the Treasury Department in its upcoming guidance affecting eligibility and access to the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit, Michigan and companies like Hemlock will be left behind.

This is not right.

The good news is that there is still time. As the Treasury considers how to implement the tax provisions, they must ensure that CHIPS Act resources can be invested up and down the chip supply chain, including in companies like Hemlock. Michigan’s economy, the lives and livelihoods of thousands of workers, and the future of the domestic semiconductor supply chain depend on it.

We’re doing our part in Michigan to make more chips here in America.

KLA, a global semiconductor manufacturer, has opened its headquarters in Ann Arbor, creating 500 jobs. The company also partners with imec technology innovation center to create a global center of excellence in semiconductors in michigan. The California-based independent semiconductor company announced an expansion of its semiconductor design and test facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan. SK Siltron, a South Korean semiconductor wafer maker, has opened a $300 million facility in Bay City, creating 150 jobs.

Our leadership in this space is also local. Hemlock Semiconductor is one of the largest manufacturers of ultrapure polysilicon and, of only six manufacturers in the world, is the only one headquartered in America. Their polysilicon can now be found in almost every electronic device in the world. We have a saying in Michigan – you are never more than 85 miles from the Great Lake. A similar rule applies here – you’re never more than 8.5 feet from Michigan-made Hemlock polysilicon.

Hemlock’s polysilicon is at the heart of almost every single chip in the world. Don’t take my word for it. Get yours.

After the event you joined me virtually last summer at Hemlock headquarters, you tweeted, “Did you know that one-third of all chips in the world use polysilicon made in the great city of Hemlock, Michigan? Imagine if we had more of these kinds of factories across the country. The CHIPS and Science Act will make this a reality.”1 A week later at at your signing ceremony for the CHIPS Act, you said, “This law funds the entire semiconductor supply chain: for research and development, to key raw materials like polysilicon produced by a factory in Hemlock.”2

I agree, Mr. President.

Our nation invented the semiconductor, but we now produce only 12% of the world’s supply. We must build a powerful American semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem – top to bottom – or risk losing out to China. In Michigan, we know the consequences of outsourcing supply chains and manufacturing, especially chips. Our automakers have had to buy additional batches of unfinished vehicles over the past few years while waiting for overseas chip shipments. This made it harder for factories and increased costs for families at the dealership. We felt it.

Thanks to the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 and your leadership, we have a chance to build a brighter future, but we can’t get there unless we invest in every part of the semiconductor supply chain. We cannot choose which part of the supply chain to invest in. Instead, let’s build the future we all want—one in which America leads. Lets do it.


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