A new report today from the Wall Street Journal reiterates that Apple supplier TSMC is in negotiations to build a multibillion-dollar manufacturing plant in Arizona. This follows up its original report from earlier this week, with today’s report adding that an announcement could be made this week.
TSMC manufactures Apple’s A-series chips used in the iPhone and iPad — and soon to be used in the Mac lineup. For example, the upcoming iPhone 12 series will use Apple’s A14 processor, built on a 5-nanometer process by TSMC.
TSMC is reportedly in talks with the Trump administration over a potential deal. Any such agreement could materialize in a factory producing chips by the end of 2023 at the earliest. The announcement could be made as soon as Friday, the report says:
TSMC is expected to announce the plans as soon as Friday after making the decision at a board meeting on Tuesday in Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter. The factory could be producing chips by the end of 2023 at the earliest, they said, adding that both the State and Commerce Departments are involved in the plans.
Today’s report also notes Donald Trump’s stance on the issue, and why he might be in favor of providing financial support:
Politically, the announcement could be a win for President Trump who has been campaigning to get companies to build in the US. He has also been looking to make sure that Republicans retain their majority in the US Senate. Arizona Senator Martha McSally is among the Republicans facing a tough challenge in this November’s election.
‘We shouldn’t have supply chains. We should have them all in the US,’ the president said on Fox Business on Thursday, when discussing production during the pandemic.
Finally, the report acknowledges that TSMC has been talking with US officials as well as Apple for “some time,” but the negotiations only recently gained momentum:
TSMC had been talking to US officials as well as to Apple Inc., one of its largest customers, about building a chip factory in the US for some time, but the conversations gained momentum recently as concerns mounted about the fragility of the Asian supply chain, according to people familiar with the matter.
Check out our original coverage on this story from earlier this week here.
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