Intel, in Oval Office, announces $7 billion semiconductor factory

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 08, 2017 1:11 PM

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Intel Corp <INTC.O> chose the Oval Office as its backdrop to announce a $7 billion investment in a new Arizona semiconductor factory, a plant it said would create 3,000 new jobs when it is up and running.

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich announced the investment to reporters while standing behind President Donald Trump, a signal of how corporate America is adapting to a White House that is not reluctant to single out companies for praise or criticism.

Trump said Krzanich called him a few weeks ago to say he wanted to meet to make a big announcement.

Krzanich said Intel has been working on the factory - its third in Arizona - for several years. He said he wanted to announce it at the White House as a sign of support for the "tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward."

The company said in a release that the plant would be completed in three or four years.Trump, a Republican who took office on Jan. 20, campaigned on a promise to push for companies to keep or create jobs in the United States, rather than sending them abroad.

Intel was one of more than 100 companies that joined together to file a legal brief opposing Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations.

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But that issue did not come up during the Oval Office meeting, said Reed Cordish, a White House official in charge of technology initiatives.

Intel announced less than a year ago that it would cut up to 12,000 jobs globally, or 11 percent of its workforce, as it refocused its business towards microchips that power data centers and Internet connected devices and away from the declining personal computer industry it helped found.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Frances Kerry)