Samsung will build a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Taylor, Texas, it said on Tuesday, giving a big boost to a bipartisan effort in Washington to persuade chip makers to build more of the components in the United States.
The company’s decision came after months of deliberation over possible locations in the United States and South Korea. The company, one of the world’s largest makers of computer chips, considered a site in Austin, which is about forty minutes from Taylor, as well as locations in Arizona and New York.
As Washington has urged chip makers to build more in the United States, cities have raced to get a piece of the potential boom. Taylor went to great lengths to lure the Samsung plant. The city, its independent school district and the surrounding county promised the company hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks. Semiconductor plants require abundant water and reliable power, so they reached a deal to transport water from the adjacent county for the facility.
Samsung’s decision comes during a major shortage of semiconductors, which are critical to products as diverse as Ford F-150s, medical devices and iPhones.
Lawmakers and the Biden administration have grown concerned that not enough of the vital components are made in America. China has invested heavily in incentivizing production of computer chips inside its borders, and Taiwan and South Korea both produce a major share of the semiconductors. Policymakers worry that leaves the United States at an economic and national security disadvantage.
The plant in Taylor will be the latest to be built in America in recent years. Intel broke ground this year on two new factories on an existing campus in Arizona. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is also building a new plant in the state.