New Hampshire plant first to get CHIPS law funding

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The Biden administration on Monday announced a preliminary deal with BAE Systems, Inc., to provide $35 million in funding through the CHIPS and Science Act for the company’s defense projects, including its F-35 fighter jet program.

The announcement is the first preliminary agreement to be struck through the CHIPS and Science Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that President Biden signed into law last year. The money will be used to upgrade a chip factory in Nashua, N.H.

Biden in a statement called it a “key milestone” in the implementation of the law. When finalized, the funding will be used by BAE Systems to “modernize an aging facility to quadruple its production capacity for chips that are essential to our national security,” Biden said.

“Today’s announcement is the first step of many to come,” he said. “Over the coming year, the Department of Commerce will award billions more to make more semiconductors in America, invest in research and development capabilities to keep America at the forefront of new technologies, strengthen our national security, and create good-paying jobs.”

Biden has repeatedly touted the importance of the CHIPS and Science Act, citing the prevalence of microchips that are used in everyday technology like phones, cars, home appliances and more.

In Monday’s announcement, Biden noted the U.S. has in recent years gone from producing nearly 40 percent of the world’s chips to just over 10 percent, creating dependence on foreign supply chains that have in turn led to higher prices.

“My CHIPS and Science Act aimed to change that — and already, we are revitalizing America’s leadership in semiconductors, strengthening our supply chains, protecting national security, and advancing American competitiveness as a result of the law and our Investing in America agenda,” Biden said.

Biden has previously touted new domestic investments after the law was passed, visiting a planned Intel factory in Ohio and boasting of investments by Micron and IBM in New York.

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