Is it Time to Bring Electronics Manufacturing Back to the USA?
Can we reshore electronics manufacturing back to the USA? Find out in this article.
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to massive change, touching on nearly every aspect our society – from front line healthcare workers in vital vaccine research to working from home and relying more on e-commerce and home delivery, to changing transportation and logistics patterns as well as energy use.
Surveys here in America and across the world also indicate many of us are dissatisfied with returning to the way things were before the pandemic; we're looking for improved health care, a cleaner environment, better working conditions, and a fairer, more equitable society.
Remarkably, even supply chain logistics have become part of this conversation about change.
The Coronavirus pandemic has also opened the eyes of many Americans to the extent that we have become overly dependent on overseas production for a range of products, from PPE and medical supplies to the electronics components that power our telecommunication systems, energy infrastructure, and military operations.
Could A New Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Fab Plant Help Kick Start A Renewed Electronics Manufacturing Ecosystem In The USA?
Advocates of growing an American-made electronics manufacturing supply base have welcomed the news that one of the giants in the semiconductor industry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has been negotiating to build a new wafer fabrication facility in Arizona.
If an agreement is signed, TSMC says it plans to invest $12 billion in the new Arizona facility, which would create 1,600 new jobs. Construction at the yet-to-be-named location would commence in 2021, and production would start in 2024.
The prospect of a major new employment opportunity is good news during the Coronavirus pandemic. But equally important is the long-term effect that this major new facility could have on creating an American manufacturing ecosystem.
Because several of TSMC's high-profile customers are already located in the southwest region of the US, the new fab plant would allow these companies to fabricate leading-edge semiconductor products entirely within the United States, rather than relying on TSMC's overseas fab plants.
Thanks to the close geographic proximity, the supply chain will become shorter, reducing wait times (and improving the reliability of just-in-time manufacturing output) as well as leading to potentially greater cooperation between TSMC's engineering teams and those of their major customers.
National Industrial Policies: Decoupling Supply Chain Sourcing From China
Concerns about supply chain breakdowns are not limited to the US.