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TSMC’s U.S. Semiconductor Plant Construction Lags Behind Global Peers Due to Regulatory Hurdles

Complex regulatory environment in the United States slows down the pace of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, challenging the country's competitive edge
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The U.S. semiconductor industry faces significant delays in plant construction, notably falling behind international benchmarks, as revealed in a recent research report by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Despite legislative support through the U.S. chip law, intricate regulatory frameworks and environmental policies have led to increased construction costs and extended timelines, placing the United States at a competitive disadvantage on the global stage.

TechNews highlights the slower construction progress of key semiconductor plants, including TSMC’s Arizona facility, Intel’s Ohio plant, and Samsung’s Texas project, all missing their initial completion targets. This trend contrasts starkly with the more efficient construction timelines observed in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, where the average times from groundbreaking to production significantly undercut the U.S. average of 736 days, with Japan leading at 584 days.

Historically, the United States maintained a quicker pace in semiconductor plant construction during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the past decade saw a marked slowdown, with the average construction time extending to 918 days, coinciding with a sharp decline in the number of new foundries. In contrast, China and Taiwan have accelerated their construction efforts, with the number of foundries in China surging from 14 in the 1990s to 95 in the 2010s.

The CSET report underscores the need for the United States to streamline its regulatory process and address environmental policy constraints to improve the construction speed of semiconductor facilities. These measures are crucial for the U.S. to retain its leadership and meet the burgeoning global demand for semiconductors. As the industry evolves, the United States must adapt its regulatory environment to facilitate faster and more efficient plant constructions to safeguard its competitive position in the semiconductor sector.

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