AFTER TAIWAN’S CHIP INDUSTRY, TEXAS…
This important story was found and passed along by D.P. with our thanks, because if you're watching Texas as I've been for the past few years, it would appear that the state is "taking steps" of a very practical nature should it ever have to "go it alone." We know, for example, that it has established a state bullion depository, and more recently its governor has tried to woo the Nasdaq data center from New York to Dallas, a move tantamount to moving the Nasdaq exchange itself. And even more recently, the very same governor has decided to complete former President Trump's border wall, at least in Texas, and is one of many governors contesting the Brandonenko regime's mask mandates.
Now, having the Nasdaq data center in Dallas would be handy, especially if this happens:
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said on Wednesday it had picked Taylor, Texas as the location for a new $17 billion plant to make advanced chips for functions such as mobile, 5G, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence.
The plant would create 2,000 high-tech jobs with construction to begin in the first half of next year, and production due to start in the second half of 2024, the South Korean tech giant said. It would also create at least 6,500 construction jobs, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.
The world’s biggest memory chipmaker and second-largest contract chip manufacturer had also considered sites in Arizona and New York for the plant, which will be much bigger than its only other US chip plant in Austin, Texas.
The company said it chose Texas based on factors such as infrastructure stability, government support and proximity to its existing plant.
Samsung is joining rivals TSMC and Intel in the race to expand chip contract manufacturing in the United States, where the sector is seen as an area of strategic competition with China.
Nor are the indicators that this will be a typical plant, but rather, one with an ultra-high tech focus:
Samsung has not specified what the new plant will make beyond advanced logic chips which can be used to power mobile devices and autonomous vehicles.
Analysts said it would likely make cutting-edge chips of 5-nanometers or less, using machines made by the Netherland’s ASML, for large clients like Qualcomm. Such chips can handle more data per area than the 14- and 28-nanometer chips Samsung’s existing US plant in Austin mainly makes.
But there's something very peculiar in this article that caught my eye and that fueled much after-midnight musing on some high octane speculation. What caught my eye was this:
Senator Cornyn on Tuesday called on the Biden administration to invest more money to attract chip manufacturers to the United States, calling it a “national security imperative.”
“If China continues to saber-rattle, the majority of the world could be at their mercy when it comes to the supply of critical semiconductors,” Cornyn said.
Samsung’s Kim thanked the Biden administration for “creating an environment that supports companies like Samsung as we work to expand leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing in the US“
“We also thank the administration and Congress for their bipartisan support to swiftly enact federal incentives for domestic chip production and innovation.”
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee met White House officials as well as leaders of companies including Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Microsoft during a trip to the United States last week.
In other words, there was apparently quite a bit of lobbying and deal-making being conducted in the background of a "bi-partisan" nature. There's nothing unusual about the national security issue, nor that elements of both political parties would want to see a regulatory and tax climate conducive to wooing chip-making corporations and industries to this country. Nor is there anything unusual about such wooing going on at all levels, from local on up to federal. Indeed, then I see the words 'bi-partisan" I tend to think of everyone agreeing that everyone else gets the usual kickbacks and other "incentives" for making the deal happen, and all agree to look away when a little bit of insider trading enriches the politicians who made it happen. Face it, they're not getting rich on their salaries. But again, that does not surprise me.
What does surprise me is that it occurs at a time when so much else in domestic national politics is breaking down, and at a time when the location of the plant would seem counter-intuitive. What do I mean by that? Well, here comes the high octane speculation. Looked at a certain way, it looks increasingly like Texas is laying the strategic foundation to indeed "go its own way"; bullion depositories can easily become part of an independent currency infrastructure and clearing mechanism; Nasdaq data centers can quickly become the infrastructure for securities trading (and let's not forget, when that story was announced it was accompanied by the statement that Governor Abbot was trying to woo "other" markets, i.e., exchanges, to Texas); and already Texas is the location for several private space companies. Add in a sophisticated chip-making facility for things like 5G, AI and so on, and Texas becomes an important center for "the internet of things". Add to this the wall and the general opposition within that state to the plans of Mr. Globaloney most recently exemplified by the opposition to the planscamdemic and the federal overreach and one has an interesting set of dots to connect. Barring the possibility that all of this is a smokescreen and that Mr. Globaloney may not only be "resetting" but "reshoring" to Texas in anticipation of a "crack up", and it's an interesting picture. It's either that, or perhaps Mr. Globaloney is hedging his bets just in case of a crackup, or perhaps there are other unseen players driving a crack up.
In any case, it's the pattern here that intrigues me, because it sure does look like there is someone in that state coordinating policy initiatives designed to put the state in the driver's seat, and the federal government can huff and puff all it wishes.
This really is a case of you tell me...
See you on the flip side...
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