Intel’s CEO used a meeting with Donald Trump to announce it would invest $7bn in building a factory in Arizona, creating about 3,000 jobs.
It seemed like a coup for Trump, who has pledged to bring manufacturing back to the US. In a media-attended Oval Office meeting, Intel’s Brian Krzanich stood next to Trump and declared that the investment was a response to Trump’s business-friendly policies.
“It’s in support of the tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward that really make it advantageous to do manufacturing in the US,” he said. Trump was happy to take credit, thanking Krzanich and calling the Fab 42 plant – which will make state-of-the-art computer chips – a great investment in jobs and innovation. However, the semiconductor company had already announced the same factory back in 2011 when Barack Obama was in power. In 2012, Obama made a speechin front of the building, describing it – to a cheering crowd – as an “example of an America that attracts the next generation of good manufacturing jobs”. The construction of Fab 42 was halted in 2014, following a slump in PC sales, but analysts don’t believe Trump is the reason it’s been restarted. Instead, the decision to complete work on the factory is likely to be based on industry pressure to move to more advanced types of chips as demand for smart devices surges.
“Now this announcement tonight is probably because of the semiconductor demand we have alluded to in great detail in recent weeks, more than it is about Trumponomics,” Neil Campling, the London-based head of global technology, media and telecom research at Northern Trust Securities, told Bloomberg News.
“I call it ‘refried’ news. Intel seems to be selling the same horse twice – first to Obama and now Trump,” said Will Marshall, the president of the Progressive Policy Institute. “It gives them a chance to bask in presidential favor and show patriotic commitment to investing in America and jobs.”