Press Releases

DelBene, Commerce Sec. Raimondo Underscore Impact of Computer Chip Shortage in WA

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) was joined by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to underscore the importance of addressing the nationwide semiconductor chip shortage and its impact on the Washington state economy.

On a call with reporters, DelBene and Raimondo discussed how the current chip shortage is affecting prices and product supply in Washington and the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation that will increase domestic production of these critical devices.

Congress is currently advancing legislation that would invest $52 billion in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. It also includes a DelBene-led tax credit to increase domestic manufacturing of chips and new funding for science research.

“Washington state is particularly impacted by this crisis. Our aerospace industry needs them to supply planes and spacecraft around the world. Our medical device makers use them to create the tools that help your doctor diagnose and treat you. Our trucking manufacturers need chips to create more of the vehicles that move supplies around the country,” said DelBene. “It is very important that we manufacture more chips right here at home. The only way to do that is to help create the incentives to move this quickly and pass the Chips Act for America that Secretary Raimondo and I have been working on for months. I have a great sense of urgency about this.”

“Congresswoman DelBene has been a key ally in the House in her steadfast support of the CHIPS Act and every time I talk to her, she reminds me how important this is to Washington state. There’s no reason this bill shouldn’t get to the President’s desk this week,” said Raimondo. “Congress has the opportunity to create high-quality, good-paying jobs making chips right here in the United States of America. It’s time to act.”

The legislation garnered 64 votes in the Senate last week, meaning it has enough initial support to overcome a filibuster. A final vote is expected this week in the Senate followed by a vote in the House. 

In 1990, the U.S. made nearly 40% of chips globally. In 2020, that number dropped to 12% and is predicted to fall further. Nearly 80% of global chip production is now in China and East Asia. 90% of cutting-edge chips that are necessary for cloud computing, AI, and other innovations are made only in Taiwan.

Secretary Raimondo is the Biden administration’s lead negotiator on the legislation. House Speaker Pelosi appointed DelBene to the conference committee to negotiate a final deal on the legislation in April. The DelBene-led New Democrat Coalition endorsed the legislation earlier today and has been a leader in shaping the legislation throughout the process.

DelBene hosted a roundtable with Washington businesses earlier in the month to hear how the shortage is impacting industries from defense to health care.

The video of the call can be found here