Biden Hails $20 Billion for Intel, Says Trump Lost Jobs to China

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said his $20 billion award to Intel Corp. demonstrated his investments in US industries that had withered under Donald Trump’s tenure, touting a flurry of government spending he hopes will help him defeat his Republican rival in a general-election rematch.

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The president spoke Wednesday at an Intel campus in suburban Phoenix to announce the package of grants and loans, part of a swing-state blitz designed to burnish his record heading into November’s election.

“Unlike my predecessor, I was determined to turn things around, to invest in America, all of America, all Americans. And that’s what we’ve been doing,” Biden said.

Biden trails Trump in several crucial states, including Arizona, as voters remain skeptical of the president’s handling of the economy. Biden is responding by using his bully pulpit, as well as federal dollars, in states to show the public the results of his plans. The president said Wednesday’s announcement would support 10,000 manufacturing jobs, including 3,000 in Phoenix.

“It’s a fundamental break from the trickle-down economics supercharged by my predecessor,” Biden said. “I want to build a future in America. My predecessor is going to let the future be built in China and other countries, not America.”

Read More: Intel Gets $20 Billion in US Grants, Loans for Chip Plants

The Intel funds came from the 2022 Chips and Science Act, one of his signature legislative accomplishments. Biden is arguing that his policies on infrastructure, domestic manufacturing and clean energy will improve people’s financial standing and strengthen the overall US economy.

Biden called the law a “smart investment” that would “transform the country in a way you don’t even understand yet,” spurring domestic job growth, shoring up supply chains disrupted by the pandemic and ensuring the US was at the forefront of developing new technologies.

Biden is on a three-day swing that includes stops in Nevada and Arizona, swing states that he won in 2020 and is facing pressure to defend in his November rematch with Trump. The former president is leading his successor in both states, according to a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll taken last month.

$100 Billion Investment

Intel is the first company to land a preliminary funding deal from the Chips Act for advanced manufacturing facilities. The law provided $39 billion in grants, plus loans and guarantees worth $75 billion to persuade companies to build factories on US soil and reverse a decades-long shift of semiconductor production to Asia.

Wednesday’s announcement is meant to support Intel’s project in Arizona, as well as similar facilitates in Ohio, Oregon and New Mexico. The company plans $100 billion in investments to support American production of cutting-edge chips, research and development.

“We are declaring America will not surrender leadership to our competitors,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said at Wednesday’s event. “Make no mistake, fragile global supply chains are a threat not just to our economic, but also to our national security.”

Arizona, in particular its biggest population center of Maricopa County, where Biden spoke, has reaped some of the greatest rewards from the Chips Act. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s leading chipmaker, is investing $40 billion to build two fabrication facilities in the state. The company is in line to receive more than $5 billion in federal grants to support its work there.

The money, though, illustrates a political conundrum for Biden: it could take years for people in those places to see the benefits. Intel will not receive the funds right away. Instead, it will come after a due diligence stage and is dependent on production goals and other benchmarks set by the Commerce Department.

--With assistance from Mackenzie Hawkins.

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