- Jordan Blashek, President, COO, and Co-Founder of America’s Frontier Fund
- Dr. Morgan Dwyer, Chief Strategy Officer, CHIPS Program Office, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America
- Vivian Salama (moderator), Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
The "CHIPS Act, Industrial Policy, & National Security" panel at TruCon 2023 examined one of the Biden Administration's most significant legislative achievements: the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act in August 2022. Vivian Salama, a Wall Street Journal reporter, moderated the discussion that explored the strategic and national security implications of the CHIPS Act and the United States' return to industrial policy, and how the Act and industrial policy affect US-China competition.
Featured panelists included Morgan Dwyer, the Chief Strategy Officer for the CHIPS Program Office at the Department of Commerce, who emphasized the link between America's domestic capacity to produce semiconductors, the economic security associated with increased capacity, and the impact on our national security goals. She addressed the vulnerability created by the United States' dependence on other countries for advanced logic chips, stating, "CHIPS is about economic and national security. If we cannot build and operate facilities in America, if we don't have the workforce to do that, we won't succeed at our goals."
Jordan Blashek, President, COO, and Co-Founder of America's Frontier Fund, explained some of the challenges America faces in becoming a leader in the semiconductor industry, noting the reluctance of many investors to make large investments due to the extended nature of a return on those investments. He emphasized the importance of the CHIPS Act in circumventing these challenges and the galvanizing effect it has had on American semiconductor companies, encouraging them to accelerate plans to build semiconductor factories and increase collaboration with one another. Blashek stated, "The CHIPS Act is absolutely critical because, otherwise, you have these investors who are not willing to invest in these types of companies. So I think the CHIPS Act has really focused the industry on coming together, and it has allowed the industry to move much faster than it otherwise would have."
The panelists discussed the significance of government support for community colleges, apprenticeship programs, and educational institutions at large in giving America a leg up in global competition. Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, highlighted the importance of attracting new talent to the industry from beyond elite universities, asserting, "You ought to be able to get a job based on whether you can do the job, not on where you went. So community colleges are critical. So are the... various technical colleges of different kinds, connecting those to industry, connecting them to what we call youth apprenticeships."