U.S. President Joe Biden is planning a visit to the SK Siltron CSS manufacturing plant in Michigan on Tuesday. This will be President Biden’s first visit to an industrial site since the mid-elections on Nov. 8, viewed as a move to attract investments in manufacturing further and promote cooperation in the semiconductor business by visiting key semiconductor companies invested by Korean companies.
The White House announced that “President Biden will visit SK Siltron CSS in Bay City, Michigan on November 29. He will give a speech on the past two years of progress, including job creation in manufacturing.” President Biden visited the Samsung semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek during his visit to Korea in May, but it will be the first time for him to visit a Korean business investing in the U.S.
SK Siltron CSS is a company founded in the U.S. when SK Siltron acquired the DuPont wafer business in 2020 for 450 million dollars (some 590 billion won). At that time, SK Siltron CSS had invested around 300 million dollars (around 400 billion won) in building manufacturing facilities in Bay City. The company produces silicon carbide (SiC) wafers used, which are highly power efficient, in semiconductor materials. In March 2022, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Minister for Trade Yeo Han-gu visited the site to celebrate the tenth-year anniversary of the Korea-U.S. FTA.
President Biden had invited SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won to the White House in July, but the meeting had to be arranged online when President Biden was confirmed with COVID-19. When Chairman Chey announced a 22-billion-dollar plan to invest in the US in semiconductors, green energy, and bioscience, President Biden responded by saying “Thank you, Tony (Chairman Choi’s English name)” nine times.
There are views that President Biden’s visit to SK Siltron CSS is a significant step that signals policy direction of the US government after the mid-election. Michigan, known as a Rust Belt state, is a strategic location vital to winning the presidential elections in 2024. President Biden is expected to accelerate policy execution of the U.S. Chips Act and Inflation Reduction Act, amid Republicans occupying majority seats of the House.