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New Mexico Part of $8.5 Billion Intel Semiconductor Deal

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at El Portal restaurant Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at El Portal restaurant Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By Josh Boak
Adapted for Radio by S. Baxter Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has reached an agreement to provide Intel with up to $8.5 billion in direct funding and $11 billion in loans for computer chip plants in four states, a cash infusion that the government says should help the U.S. boost its global share of advanced chip production from zero to 20%.

President Joe Biden plans to talk up the investment on Wednesday as he visits Intel's Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona, which could be a decisive swing state in November’s election. The Democratic president has often said that not enough voters know about his economic policies and suggested that more would support him if they did know.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the deal reached through her department would put the United States in a position to produce 20% of the world's most advanced chips by 2030 with Intel investing in facilities in Arizona, Ohio, Oregon and New Mexico. The United States designs advanced chips, but its inability to make them domestically has emerged as a national security and economic risk.

On a call with reporters, Raimondo said, “Failure is not an option — leading-edge chips are the core of our innovation system, especially when it comes to advances in artificial intelligence and our military systems. We can’t just design chips. We have to make them in America.”

The funding announcement comes amid the heat of the 2024 presidential campaign. Biden has been telling voters that his policies have led to a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing and job growth. His message is a direct challenge to former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, who raised tariffs while in the White House and wants to do so again on the promise of protecting U.S. factory jobs from China.

Biden narrowly beat Trump in Arizona in 2020 by a margin of 49.4% to 49.1%.

U.S. adults have dim views of Biden's economic leadership, with just 34% approving, according to a February poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. The lingering impact of inflation hitting a four-decade high in 2022 has hurt the Democrat, who had a 52% approval on the economy in July 2021.

Intel's projects would be funded in part through the bipartisan 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which the Biden administration helped shepherd through Congress at a time of concerns after the pandemic that the loss of access to chips made in Asia could plunge the U.S. economy into recession.

The Santa Clara, California-based company will use the funding in four different states. In Chandler, Arizona, the money will help to build two new chip plants and modernize an existing one. The funding will establish two advanced plants in New Albany, Ohio, which is just outside the state capital of Columbus.

The company will also turn two of its plants in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, into advanced packaging facilities. And Intel will also modernize facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.