President Joe Biden said at a groundbreaking ceremony for a semiconductor factory on Friday that manufacturing sophisticated computer chips is a US national security issue in the face of an assertive China.

“This is all in our economic interest, and it’s also in our national security interest,” 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 request providing $52 billion to boost US semiconductor production. He said the initiative was part of the larger rivalry between the United States and China.

“It’s no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied American companies against this law,” Biden said, with heavy machinery in the background.

Biden said the United States will need advanced engineering “for future weapon systems that will only become more dependent 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 in the run-up to the US midterm elections in November.

Read more: US Senate passes bill to counter China in chip production

Ohio is a Rust Belt state where blue-collar workers historically tended to vote Democratic, but turned to the Republican Party and Donald Trump as industries died out and workers felt left out by globalization. .

AFP with an additional contribution from GVS News Desk