President Joe Biden said Friday at a ceremony to break ground on a semi-conductor plant that making sophisticated computer chips is an issue of US national security in the face of an assertive China.
"All of this is in our economic interest, and it's in our national security interest as well," Biden said at the site where Intel plans to build a $20 billion factory.
Biden made the trip to highlight recent legislation passed at his behest setting aside $52 billion to boost US semiconductor production. He said the initiative was part of the broader rivalry between the United States and China.
"It's no wonder... that the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied US business against this law," Biden said, with heavy machinery looming in the background.
Biden said the US will need state-of-the-art engineering "for the weapon systems of the future that are only going to be more reliant on computer chips."
"Unfortunately, we produce zero, zero of these advanced chips in America," Biden said.
Biden's visit here also had a political component as the US midterm elections of November approach.
Ohio is a Rust Belt state where blue collar factory workers historically tended to vote Democrat but turned to the Republican Party and Donald Trump as industries died out and workers felt left out by globalization.