Intel re-announces Arizona fabrication plant

Bill Boyle
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Intel has taken the opportunity for some Trump-style public relations by re-announcing plans to open a fabrication plant in Arizona

Intel ‘announced’ this week that it is dusting off plans to build a $7 billion manufacturing plant in Arizona, that will create “3,000 high-paying, high-wage, high-tech jobs,” CEO Brian Krzanich said after a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

Trump was quoted as saying “The people of Arizona will be very happy, it’s a lot of jobs.”

There is a double irony to this announcement. Firstly the new fabrication plant will create jobs – however, those jobs will be directly responsible for putting more US workers out of their jobs since the chips they make will be used mostly in job automation technology.

The second irony is that this is not a new announcement. Intel began building the Arizona factory several years ago and at the time, President Obama also praised the company for creating manufacturing jobs. Intel then put the project on hold in 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing changing market conditions.

Krzanich said that Trump’s push to cut taxes and regulations influenced his decision to re-open the project this year.  In an email to employees, Krzanich talks about the uses for the chips which include artificial intelligence, automated driving, and “the factories of the future” all of which will replace US jobs.

President Trump on Wednesday held up Intel’s plan to invest more than $7 billion in an Arizona factory as a win for his economic agenda, despite the fact that he is the second President to crow over Intel’s construction of the same facility.

In 2012, Obama went to the factory’s construction site and said that the plant would produce high-wage jobs. Reuters at the time quoted Obama as saying: ‘‘Let us stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas. Let’s reward companies like Intel that are investing and creating jobs right here in the United States of America.’’