INDIANAPOLIS — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and other Asian tech firms may contribute to a rising tide of investment in the U.S. in response to some expected Trump administration initiatives.
This week, TSMC reiterated comments from Chairman Morris Chang that the company may build a new U.S. fab as early as next year, possibly joining other global firms that are considering manufacturing in the U.S. amid President Donald Trump's push to create more jobs.
Expected tax incentives and tightened regulations on sensitive U.S. technology by the Trump administration may help to attract more domestic investment from companies such as Apple and its Asian suppliers like TSMC and Foxconn, according to Dick Thurston, former chief counsel for TSMC.
“Trump will have the opportunity to appoint a large number of new federal judges. The U.S. will likely use injunctive relief as a means of halting imports from China that infringe U.S. and Taiwanese technology,” Thurston said in an interview with EE Times. “That’s where the leverage is going to be.”
The boost in employment would not come from TSMC or even Foxconn, which already have adopted highly automated manufacturing processes, Thurston said. However, the surrounding infrastructure companies providing key materials, equipment and logistics would add to job numbers. Thurston was in Taiwan in February representing Duane Morris, an international law firm he recently joined.
TSMC has one 20-year-old fab in the U.S. The WaferTech facility is located in Camas, Washington, 30 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest’s Silicon Forest. The company’s 1-million-square-foot fabrication complex includes approximately 130,000 square feet of clean room space.
Foxconn earlier this year said that it may build a U.S. LCD facility for as much as $7 billion, possibly creating tens of thousands of American jobs during President Donald Trump’s first year in office. Foxconn is the largest employer in China, where the company has millions of workers who assemble everything from Apple iPhones to ZTE handsets.
—Alan Patterson covers the semiconductor industry for EE Times. He is based in Taiwan.