U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for a provision to stop the U.S. from buying microchips for national defense from companies that work with the Chinese Communist Party.
Schumer warned Tuesday that having semiconductor chips made in China or other foreign supply chains embedded in our defense technology poses a national security risk. His announcement at the Albany NanoTech Complex comes on the heels of recent investments to ramp up the state's semiconductor chip production in wake of the CHIPS & Science Act — like $100 billion at Micron in Syracuse and $20 billion at IBM in Poughkeepsie.
"We all know how China reacts when they think they're falling behind," he said.
The provision would prohibit the U.S. from doing business with three Chinese microchip companies, including SMIC, ChangXin Memory Technologies and Yangtze Memory Technologies, and others with known links to the Chinese Communist Party.
Schumer sponsors the bipartisan provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill to dictate how to spend federal defense dollars, with Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas.
It's expected to be voted on this week.
"China has been rapacious ... in stealing our intellectual property," Schumer said. "And when we have a good product. Instead of letting us in, they wall us out learn to make it themselves and then try to compete in the rest of the world."
Albany NanoTech is home to one of the world's leading facilities in semiconductor chip research and prototyping. NY CREATES owns and operates Albany NanoTech, which is slated for a 300,000-square-foot expansion project.
The project will soon head into its design phase and is expected to open in 2025.
"The past couple of years have exposed our vulnerabilities on our economic and national security of relying on foreign countries, of relying on any part of the semiconductor ecosystem," NY CREATES President David Anderson said.
Anderson hopes the CHIPS Act will position the site to be the U.S. national microchip center and help make upstate New York a booming hub for manufacturing.
"We would like that national semiconductor center to be here at Albany NanoTech," he said.
Albany NanoTech hosts companies like IBM and GlobalFoundries. They're in talks about how they can increase production.
"Physical security, digital security, supply chain security... it's the heart of what GF does," GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield said outside the NanoTech complex Tuesday. "It's who we are; it's our DNA."
SUNY is a major partner for the operation and helps to run the site.