Raimondo: Commerce Dept. will spend all of the CHIPS Act grant money this year

Commerce Sec. Raimondo on Samsung award: Goal is to make 20% of the world's semiconductors

TAYLOR, Texas — The Commerce Department is on track to dole out all of the $39 billion in grant money allocated under the CHIPS Act by year-end, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC on Monday.

The Commerce Department is providing the money to semiconductor companies to incentivize them to build out manufacturing production capabilities in the U.S. The Biden administration announced earlier Monday that it would be providing Samsung with up to $6.4 billion in grants to expand two chip plants in central Texas — leaving roughly $16 billion left in subsidies to be distributed before the end of 2024.

“We’re on a roll. We’ve done three of these in the past month. We’ll be doing more in the coming weeks,” Raimondo said in an interview on the sidelines of Samsung’s award announcement event at its Taylor facility. “I expect all of the money in the CHIPS Act will be allocated by the end of this year.”

The award announcements so far have focused primarily on leading-edge chips, the most advanced type of semiconductors. Intel will receive up $8.5 billion in incentives to invest in projects in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio and Oregon, while Taiwan Semiconductor is due to receive up to $6.6 billion in grants for projects in Arizona. 

Now that the biggest grants have been doled out, future award packages will focus on memory chips and investments in suppliers, wafers, and chemicals, Raimondo said.

The Samsung award announced Monday will help the company create what officials call an “advanced manufacturing ecosystem” in central Texas, where multiple steps in the chip production process will all be done on a single campus. The Taylor facility will be twice as big as Samsung’s signature facility in South Korea, Raimondo said.

“It’s a little city of manufacturing, and around it will come suppliers,” she continued. “So when I say the whole ecosystem, it’s research and development, packaging, manufacturing, job training, and all of the upstream suppliers which will make America stronger and more secure.”

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