On August 25, 2022, President Biden announced a new Executive Order (“EO”) addressing the Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022 (“CHIPS Act”). The CHIPS Act was signed by President Biden on August 9, 2022, and, among other things, authorizes $39 billion in funding for new projects to establish semiconductor production facilities within the United States. The new EO identifies the Administration’s implementation priorities for this CHIPS Act funding and creates the CHIPS Implementation Steering Council to aid with the rollout of administrative guidance. In connection with the EO, the Department of Commerce launched CHIPS.gov, which is intended to be a centralized resource for potential applicants of CHIPS funding. The EO and new website reflect the Administration’s intent to swiftly implement the CHIPS Act and increase the domestic production of semiconductors.
First, the EO identifies the Administration’s implementation priorities, including (1) protecting taxpayer resources; (2) meeting economic, sustainability, and national security needs; (3) ensuring long-term leadership in the microelectronic sector; (4) catalyzing private-sector investments; (5) generating high-skilled, well-paying jobs; (6) increasing opportunities for disadvantaged businesses and communities; and (7) expanding regional manufacturing and innovation ecosystems. These additional priorities expand on the policy objectives first expressed by Congress in the text of the CHIPS Act.
Second, the EO creates a CHIPS Implementation Steering Council within the Executive Office of the President. The Council will be made up of the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, OMB Director, National Cyber Director, and SBA Administrator, among others. The Council will be responsible for coordinating policy development efforts, as the statutory requirements of the CHIPS Act requires input from a wide variety of agencies. The Steering Council will also be assisted in this effort by the Industrial Advisory Committee, which was previously established in 2021 to provide advice on domestic microelectronics R&D and manufacturing.
Last, as noted above, the Commerce Department has also published the CHIPS.gov website. The website currently identifies the EO implementation priorities, and the Department’s initial guidance (released in July 2022) on taxpayer protections it intends to implement when allocating CHIPS Act funds. The Commerce Department intends for this website to be a central resource for all information related to the implementation of the CHIPS Act.
In sum, President Biden has directed a whole-of-government effort to implement the CHIPS Act in a manner that comports with legislative and executive policy objectives. We expect more developments in this space soon, as the Administration continues to pivot from the initial setup stages towards public regulatory guidance, and will continue to monitor developments as they occur.