Trump and Intel's CEO are touting a $7 billion plant that has been under construction since 2011 as a new jobs creator

RealClear Contributor

            

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced on Wednesday at a White House Meeting with Donald Trump that the company will be investing more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, an advanced chip fabrication facility in Chandler, Arizona.

"Fab 42 is an investment in our own future and will help ensure that the United States remains the global leader in the semiconductor industry," Krzanich wrote in a letter to employees sent on the day of the meeting.

Intel has stated that the new plant would create 3000 high wage jobs and would indirectly create more than 10,000 long-term jobs in the Arizona area which aligns perfectly with Donald Trump's administration on employment.

Intel, however, shared very different views in 2016 when they said that they would be cutting 10% of its global workforce in response to ongoing difficulties in the PC industry. 

Intel has a very firm grasp on the PC industry, but that business has been declining over the past few years. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company increasingly relies on its global data center business and the "Internet of Things," which includes everything from autonomous cars and drones to factory automation.

The majority of Intel's chip wafer manufacturing and R&D are based in the U.S., Krzanich said in the letter to employees, "despite the fact that from a tax and regulatory position we have been disadvantaged relative to the rest of the world where we compete."

"That’s why we support the Administration’s policies to level the global playing field and make U.S. manufacturing competitive worldwide through new regulatory standards and investment policies," Krzanich continued.

Silicon Valley is built on chips but many chips are no longer being made in the USA, sending thousands of jobs abroad. Intel first announced the construction of a $5 billion Arizona-based chipmaking facility in 2011, but postponed Fab 42's official opening in 2014. The facility will be "left vacant for now" Intel's Chuck Malloy told Reuters at that time. Renewed interest in the facility coincides with Trump's promise of lower taxes and fewer regulations for corporations, but Intel said the company is making the $7 billion investment now because it anticipates growth and it isn't related to the administration's policies.

"However, we join other companies in supporting the administration’s pro-business and pro-investment goals, which encourage long-term investments like this one," an Intel spokesman said.

"Government policies play a critical role in enabling and sustaining American-driven innovation," said Krzanich in his letter. "At Intel we meet with governments from around the world, discussing and debating issues and policies important to our business, employees and shareholders. When we disagree, we don’t walk away. We believe that we must be part of the conversation to voice our views on key issues such as immigration, H1B visas and other policies that are essential to innovation."

Trump tweeted out his support of Intel's announcement on Wednesday: "Thank you Brian Krzanich, CEO of @Intel. A great investment ($7 BILLION) in American INNOVATION and JOBS! #AmericaFirst"

Krzanich has made it very clear that he doesn't orient himself with any political candidate. In June, the New York Times reported that Krzanich planned to host a fundraiser dinner for the presidential candidate at his house in Atherton, Calif. The event was cancelled following the news report, and Krzanich sent out the following tweet: "I do not intend to endorse any Presidential candidate. We are interested in engaging both campaigns in open dialogue on issues in technology."

Krzanich states that his decisions are not fuelled by politics but by the sentiments of the tech industry. He believes that the Trump administration is great for the world of Tech and now we just have to wait and see if he was right or not.

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