“The country made a mistake over the past one or two decades to farm out manufacturing of all these essential supplies, whether it be now semiconductors or could be health care supplies that we needed during the time of COVID, whatever the case may be, we need to not depend upon China or other countries for our essential needs, for things like semiconductors,” the Republican governor argued during an exclusive interview on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“That is exactly why Texas actually is leading the way, becoming the home for semiconductors that go into everything that people use,” he added.
“It’s not just your iPhone or your laptop or whatever the case may be,” he went on to say. “It’s also in all of these vehicles where you have manufacturing going on.”
As Abbott had stated on Sunday, the semiconductor chip shortage was sparked by some regulations implemented – and decisions made – during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shortage affected the auto sector heavily throughout the year. General Motors announced that it had to reduce some truck production in North America due to the global chip shortage. Ford has also pulled back production at several factories.
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Abbott and Samsung Electronics Co. announced late last month that the South Korean tech behemoth will build a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Taylor, Texas.
The governor touted the move during a news conference as “the largest foreign direct investment in the state of Texas ever.”
Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Kinam Kim said Samsung expects to create more than 2,000 high-tech jobs directly with the plant in Taylor and thousands more related to the plant once it is fully operational.
The chip-making factory coming to Taylor will also be the largest investment made by Samsung in the U.S., the company said in a news release, bringing the firm’s “total investment in the U.S. to more than $47 billion since beginning operations in the country in 1978.”
Tesla also revealed last week it is now a Texas company, according to paperwork filed with the SEC on Wednesday.
The automaker announced that its corporate headquarters is now located at its Gigafactory in Austin.
Elon Musk announced plans to relocate Tesla’s headquarters from California during October’s shareholder meeting, following a year of friction with the state’s government over COVID rules and a tweet from California state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that said “F–k Elon Musk,”
Musk also said the company was reaching the limits of expansion at its original Fremont, California, factory and that the expansive Texas facility offered more opportunity for growth.
Abbott told host Maria Bartiromo that in the first 11 months of 2021 “there have been 70 businesses and corporations that have relocated their headquarters to the state of Texas.”
“If you look on average, that means there’s a new headquarters in Texas every five days,” he continued, noting that Tesla was one of those companies.
Abbott also pointed to Samsung’s investment in Taylor.
“That is in addition to the announcement the week before where Texas Instruments announced a $30 billion investment for semiconductors,” the governor added.
“Those semiconductors will help in the supply chain process.”
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Abbott said the economy in Texas is “growing and thriving,” stressing that businesses are moving to the state “because Texas is the land of economic opportunity and innovation.”
Part of the reason “so many businesses” are moving to Texas, he said, is there are “no mandates infringing upon individual liberty.”
“Texas has been very aggressive about legally challenging all of these mandates that the Biden administration has put in place concerning COVID,” he told Bartiromo.
“And whether it be vaccine mandates or mask mandates — whatever the case may be — we’ve been winning them all in the courts.”
“The only mandate that applies is my executive order saying that nobody in the state of Texas can be mandated to take a vaccine shot,” Abbott said, noting that a COVID vaccine is “available for anybody who wants it, but there can be no mandates infringing upon individual liberty.”
FOX Business’ Breck Dumas, Gary Gastelu, Audrey Conklin and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.