Texas Aims to Become America’s Semiconductor Hub with Korean Investments

Governor Abbott Meets with Samsung and LG Executives in Seoul

Texas Governor Greg Abbott arrived in Seoul, South Korea this week with an ambitious agenda: secure billions of dollars in new investments from Korean electronics giants Samsung and LG to make Texas the premier semiconductor manufacturing hub in the United States.

Abbott is meeting with top executives from both companies, as well as other major Korean conglomerates, as part of his 10-day trip to Asia which also includes stops in Taiwan and Japan. His goal is to build on the already strong economic ties between Korea and Texas and attract even more high-tech manufacturing to the Lone Star State.

Why is Texas Courting Korean Companies?

Over the past decade, Korean firms have invested over $20 billion in Texas, more than any other country. Korea is also Texas’ 4th largest trading partner. Major Korean companies with significant operations in Texas include:

  • Samsung Electronics
    • Building a $17 billion chip fab in Taylor, TX
    • Plans to invest up to $40 billion more by 2030
  • LG Electronics
    • Manufactures EV chargers in Fort Worth, TX factory
  • Korean Air
  • Doosan Group

Abbott wants to leverage these existing relationships to bring in even more investment, especially in cutting-edge industries like semiconductors. With the global chip shortage still ongoing, securing a leading position in chip manufacturing is a major economic and strategic priority.

What Incentives Is Texas Offering?

To sweeten the deal for Korean and other foreign investors, Abbott is touting the business-friendly environment in Texas, including:

  • Lower taxes and regulations compared to other states
  • Skilled workforce, especially in tech and manufacturing
  • Extensive infrastructure and logistics networks
  • Incentives for high-tech industries like semiconductors

Last year, Texas established a new $4 billion Texas CHIPS fund to provide grants and tax breaks to chip manufacturers. Samsung is already benefiting, receiving over $6 billion in incentives for its new fab in Taylor.

Abbott says Texas plans to offer even more opportunities and support to companies investing in advanced manufacturing and other emerging technologies going forward. Making Texas a global semiconductor production leader is a top priority.

Deepening Cultural Ties Too

In addition to the economic agenda, Abbott says he also wants to strengthen the cultural partnership between Texas and Korea during the trip.

Korean culture, from K-pop to Korean BBQ, has become increasingly popular in Texas in recent years. Over 100,000 Korean-Americans call Texas home, with thriving communities in Houston and Dallas.

Abbott attended a meeting with the Korea International Trade Association and plans to meet with other business and government leaders to discuss ways to expand not just business ties, but people-to-people exchanges as well. If successful, the growing Texas-Korea connection could become a model for international relations.

The Stakes are High for Texas’ Semiconductor Dreams

With the U.S. and China locked in an intensifying battle for semiconductor supremacy, the outcome of Abbott’s investment mission to Korea could have significant implications, not just for Texas but for the country. Key points:

  • Semiconductors are crucial components for everything from smartphones to fighter jets
  • The U.S. share of global chip manufacturing has fallen to just 12%
  • China is investing heavily to dominate the industry
  • Rebuilding domestic chip production is now a national security priority

Texas, with its lower costs, pro-business policies, and existing tech ecosystem, believes it is uniquely positioned to lead the U.S. resurgence in chip manufacturing.

Landing billions in new investments from Samsung, LG and other global leaders would be a major validation of that strategy.

But the competition will be fierce, with other states and countries also vying for a piece of the action. Will Governor Abbott’s charm offensive in Korea pay off? The future of Texas’ semiconductor dreams may hinge on the answer.

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