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Guam mulls semiconductor industry following enactment of CHIPS Act

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022, also known as CHIPS Act, will open an opportunity for Guam to establish a manufacturing industry for semiconductor chips, Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes said.

The CHIPS Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Wednesday, seeks to strengthen domestic semiconductor manufacturing, design and research, fortifying the economy and national security, and reinforcing America’s chip supply chains.

“It’s become even more apparent that a thriving semiconductor industry is critical to the U.S. economy, national security, and technology leadership. Because of our proximity to raw materials, the ability to transport goods tax-free, and our local qualifying certificate program, Guam is the ideal location for a manufacturing hub," Muna Barnes said.

In March, following a request for information from the U.S. Department of Commerce to expand domestic chip manufacturing capacity, members of Guam's Transshipment Taskforce Subcommittee on Federal and Local Regulation responded with a proposal to bring this industry to Guam, tapping into billions of dollars in investment from the federal government. The share of modern semiconductor manufacturing capacity located in the U.S. has declined from 37 percent in 1990 to 12 percent today.

While federal investments in chip research have held flat as a share of GDP, other countries have significantly increased their research investments in this industry.

In response to the growing divide between local and foreign chip manufacturing, Congress passed the CHIPS Act of 2022, which includes semiconductor manufacturing grants, research investments, and an investment tax credit for chip manufacturing.

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