TSMC's Arizona plant raises national security concerns, says politicians

Tsmc (Image credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

What you need to know

  • Apple manufacturing partner TSMC is building a plant in Arizona.
  • Senators have said they strongly support efforts to create on-shore manufacturing plants in the U.S.
  • But they also have "serious questions" about national security and "potentially undisclosed subsidies."

U.S. politicians have raised serious questions about TSMC's plans to build a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Arizona.

As Reuters reports:

Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday urged the Trump administration to answer "serious questions" about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd's plans to build a U.S.-based $12 billion plant, flagging national security concerns and potentially undisclosed subsidies.

Last week, it emerged that TSMC plans to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona with the support of both the U.S. Federal government and the state of Arizona.

In this latest report, it has emerged that several lawmakers have written to commerce and Defense Secretaries Wilbur Ross and Mark Esper saying that they "strongly support" the administration's efforts to create on-shore manufacturing plants in the U.S. However, they have "serious questions" about national security:

But Schumer, along with Patrick Leahy and Jack Reed, urged more transparency and asked the government to consider "companies that already have built a significant presence in the U.S.", citing Micron, GlobalFoundries, and Cree."We have serious questions as to how this project takes into consideration national security requirements and how it aligns with a broader strategy for building a diverse U.S. semiconductor manufacturing supply chain," the men wrote of the TSMC plan.

The letter actually implored the administration to "cease any such negotiations or discussions" until the relevant authorization and appropriations committees were briefed with plans, including commitments over funding, tax breaks, incentives, and more. The plant is set to bring $12 billion in investment, and create thousands of jobs in the state.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9