ICYMI: The American Independent: Ron Johnson Opposes Federal Aid To Help US Microchip Industry Compete Against China

Mar 25, 2022


March 25, 2022

Contact: Philip Shulman (philip.shulman@wisdems.org)

ICYMI: The American Independent: Ron Johnson Opposes Federal Aid To Help US Microchip Industry Compete Against China

MADISON, Wis. – A new report highlights Ron Johnson’s opposition to investing in chip manufacturers in Wisconsin and across the United States despite the impact it would have on bolstering supply chains and fighting inflation.

See the key points below.

The American Independent: Ron Johnson opposes federal aid to help US microchip industry compete against China

  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has long made it clear that he does not believe it is his job to promote economic growth in his own state over others. During a hearing on March 23, he also indicated that he doesn’t believe the federal government should help support U.S. domestic businesses over foreign ones.
  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was considering the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, a bipartisan $52 billion bill to incentivize and promote semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.
  • Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger testified in support of the package, noting that semiconductors are “foundational to every other industry” and that the legislation is urgently needed to restore domestic production in an industry “born in the United States.”
  • Johnson responded: “I think my concern is when government starts attempting to allocate capital, it just screws things up…Because you have government picking the winners and losers in this case.”
  • In February, Johnson refused a request by union workers at Oshkosh Defense, based in his own state, to help persuade their employer — one of Johnson’s top donors — to locate more than 1,000 new jobs in Wisconsin. The company was awarded a 10-year, $482 million contract with the U.S. Postal Service to build a new generation of delivery vehicles, but plans to make the fleet in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” Johnson told reporters at the time. “I think when using federal tax dollars, you want to spend those in the most efficient way, and if it’s more efficient, more effective to spend those in other states, I don’t have a real problem with that.”
  • “In addition to securing our technological future, the CHIPS Act will create thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs and ensure the next generation of semiconductors are produced in the US, not China,” House sponsor Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) explained when the bill was introduced.
  • Johnson is currently facing a tough reelection race in Wisconsin after breaking a promise not to seek a third term. He has received a great deal of criticism from constituents over his refusal to fight to bring more jobs to the Badger State.
    A Marquette University Law School poll released earlier this month found just 33% of registered Wisconsin voters have a favorable view of Johnson, while 45% have an unfavorable view.