Jul 28, 2022 - Politics

Hagerty reaches bipartisan deal on chip manufacturing

U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty speaking.
Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As a $280 billion package to accelerate U.S. chip production advanced in Congress this week, first-term Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty brokered a deal with House Democrats to pass companion legislation. This would streamline the permitting process for manufacturing technologies impacting national security.

Details: The permitting process for semiconductor fabrication is cumbersome and can take several years, exacerbating the broader supply chain crisis that has created a backlog for new laptops and cars.

  • Hagerty's bill adds the national security sector to the list of manufacturers that can take advantage of a current law allowing for a streamlined permitting process.
  • Hagerty says the hope is to reduce the permitting timeline for a chip fabrication plant from five years to about 18 months.

What he's saying: Hagerty's legislation, the first he authored, already cleared the Senate in January.

  • "This will make the United States far more competitive in securing these multimillion-dollar chip fabrication facilities," Hagerty says. "We can't find ourselves out of chips or find ourselves dependent on countries that don't have our best interest at heart in producing vital chips that we may need for national security."

Hagerty says easing the permitting process for chip production will especially benefit Tennessee, where auto manufacturing is a vital industry. Nissan, Volkswagen and Denso were among the companies that applauded his legislation.

  • "Volkswagen’s success in this market, bringing new state-of-the-art products assembled in Tennessee to U.S. consumers, requires a robust and secure domestic supply chain," Volkswagen Group of America senior vice president for industry and government relations Anna-Maria Schneider said in an emailed statement.

Read more: Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports on yesterday's passage of the chips legislation in the Senate.

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