TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker and a key supplier for Apple, is facing a backlash over its plans to bring over 500 workers from Taiwan to its first plant in the United States, in Arizona. The plant, which will produce 5-nanometer chips for Apple and other customers, has been delayed until 2025, under claims that it couldn’t find enough skilled workers to open the facility on time.
A campaign, Stand with American Workers, funded by Revitalize Arizona and Arizona Pipe Trades 469, is urging residents to contact local congressional leaders to block TSMC foreign worker visas, and to instead force the chip maker into using workers from Arizona itself. The campaign accuses TSMC of “placing profit above worker safety and deliberately misrepresenting the quality, skills, and experience of Arizona’s workforce.”
TSMC has defended its decision to bring over workers from Taiwan, saying that they are not replacing any of the current 12,000 employees that will work at the plant, nor that it will change US recruitment plans. TSMC spokesman said: “We are not replacing any of the current 12,000 employees that will work at our Arizona facility. We are also not changing our US recruitment plans.”
The campaign has also sparked political controversy in Taiwan, where some lawmakers and experts have criticized TSMC for investing too much in the US and neglecting Taiwan’s own semiconductor industry and national security.
TSMC is one of the most important players in the global semiconductor industry, as it manufactures chips for many leading tech companies such as Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, and Huawei. The company has been expanding its production capacity amid a global chip shortage that has affected various sectors such as automotive, consumer electronics, and cloud computing. TSMC has also announced plans to build more plants in Japan, Europe, and China.
– Lawmakers urged to block TSMC worker visas over Arizona plant construction, AppleInsider, August 7, 2023
– US TSMC plant faces calls to ban Taiwanese workers, 9to5Mac, August 7, 2023
– TSMC’s US Investments Spark Political Controversy in Taiwan, The Diplomat, August 18, 2023
– TSMC Insists Taiwanese Workers Will Not Harm U.S. Jobs At Arizona Plant, Forbes, July 14, 2023