U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) joined with New Jersey business leaders Monday to urge passage of the bipartisan CHIPS Act that would provide $52 billion in subsidies to incentivize US computer chip manufacturing and semiconductor production. 

Expanding domestic chip production would help ease supply chain disruptions that have impacted the economic recovery from the pandemic and decrease dependence on foreign manufacturers. The chip shortage has affected many industries including auto manufacturers, technology and cell phone companies, appliance producers, and more.

“Through the CHIPS Act, we will address vulnerabilities in our supply chains, boost our domestic manufacturing capacity, and better prepare our nation’s economy for the 21st century,” Senator Menendez said at a news conference at Port Newark.

“Making our economy stronger and more resilient here at home — especially when it comes to the emergent technologies that are increasingly defining the twenty-first century — is crucial for our security and our prosperity.”

In addition to the subsidies, the CHIPS Act also creates a 25% investment tax credit for investments in semiconductor manufacturing and includes incentives for the manufacturing of semiconductors, as well as for the manufacturing of the specialized tooling equipment required in the semiconductor manufacturing process.

“NJBIA supports passage of the CHIPS Act as it will incentivize growth of domestic computer chip manufacturing,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka.

“The increased production of these chips that power and bring innovation to all modern electronics and automobiles, will help ease supply chain challenges and reduce reliance on foreign manufacturers,” Siekerka said. “Here in New Jersey, where we have a storied and historic role in manufacturing, we are primed to play a key role in this much-needed growth, innovation and expansion.”

Included in the CHIPS Act is a provision that sets aside $131 million to help fund the creation of a National Supply Chain Database to help prevent future supply chain disruptions. The goal is to provide manufacturers with key information as they make decisions on how to retool in critical areas to meet the demand for products, such as defense supplies, food, and medical devices.

John Kennedy, CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, praised Menendez’s “foresight and perseverance” on behalf of creating and maintaining a National Supply Chain Database.

“The ‘CHIPS for America Act’ and the National Supply Chain Database that will be voted on in the Senate in the upcoming week will be a game-changer on multiple levels,” Kennedy said.

In addition to the CHIPS Act, the Senate is also expected to vote soon on another bill that will have positive impacts on supply chains and would authorize construction of the NY & NJ Harbor Deepening Channel Improvements.

The channel Improvement project calls for deepening the pathways to Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal and Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal by 5 feet to a maintained depth of 55 feet, allowing for the safe and efficient passage of larger vessels and increased volume of goods. The project is also expected to create approximately 88,000 full-time jobs.

“The Port Authority has long been committed to a seaport that is efficient and can move the record cargo volumes we continue to see, including several capacity-building investments made by the agency and its container terminal operators in recent years,” said Beth Rooney, Port Director, Port Authority of NY and NJ.

“At a time of persistent global supply chain challenges, we welcome efforts by our congressional delegation to strengthen domestic manufacturing that would in turn help relieve supply chain disruptions and increase our nation’s economic competitiveness,” Rooney said.