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Senator Charles E. Schumer

January 28, 2021 - 2:06pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer yesterday (Jan. 27) followed up on his efforts to secure a provision in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act to boost American-based semiconductor manufacturing by reaching out directly to Samsung, which is interested in possibly locating their new plant in Genesee County.

He called Senior Vice President of Samsung Device Solutions Joe Herr and other top brass about the Genesee Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park -- STAMP -- in Alabama and expressed his strong support for the project coming to Western New York.

Samsung is currently considering the STAMP campus, as well as several other locations in other states, for its semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant – with 1,900 jobs – that the company plans to open late next year. Samsung’s Device Solutions division includes Samsung’s Global Semiconductor Foundry business. 

“This Samsung project is an exciting and a potential game changer for the region," Schumer said. "I made it clear to Samsung that I strongly support locating their planned 1,900 worker state-of-the-art semiconductor chip fab at the shovel-ready STAMP site in Genesee County. I know firsthand that STAMP is shovel-ready – and that, combined with Upstate New York’s robust semiconductor industry, make Genesee the perfect location for Samsung’s new chip fab.

World-class WNY Workforce

"Our world-class Western New York workforce combined with New York’s considerable experience in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D means STAMP is tailor-made to be the home for Samsung’s new facility. I stand ready to help Samsung harness all that the federal government has to offer to continue to lead the tech industry and position New York as a global hub of semiconductor manufacturing.

“When I stood at STAMP in August to announce my proposal to create the first-ever new federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives program, I said it could put sites like Western New York’s STAMP in contention for landing a new semiconductor manufacturing plant and the thousands of new jobs that come with it.

"This game-changer proposal passed into law last month and already companies like Samsung are considering STAMP for a 1,900 job chip fab plant, partly because of this new federal initiative. Now, I will work to secure this federal investment and offer my all-out support and advocacy in helping STAMP compete for this multi-billion-dollar plant.” 

Schumer has long championed the Genesee site and toured STAMP in August, and knows firsthand how ideal the campus would be as home for Samsung’s new chip fab. Schumer explained to Samsung that he, alongside the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCECC), New York State, and Western New York officials, worked for a decade to help ensure that it was shovel-ready for a semiconductor facility.

WNY Offers: Low Utility Costs, Transportation Networks, Supplies Access, Brain Power

“The STAMP campus, sitting on 1,250 acres of land between Buffalo and Rochester, New York’s second and third largest metros, respectively, with a 1.2 million person world-class workforce, is specifically designed for large-scale fabs and provides maximum flexibility in layout and infrastructure connections,” Schumer said.

"Additionally, the senator pointed out many cost and infrastructure advantages to the STAMP campus location, including low utility costs, access to existing transportation networks, access to New York state’s existing chip fab supply chain ecosystem, and 62 colleges, universities, and community colleges within a two-hour drive of the site including Cornell University, University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, Genesee Community College.

Schumer said Samsung is relying on his legislation to building new fabs like this one in the United States. In fact, Schumer pointed out, the United States has gone from producing 24 percent of the world’s semiconductors in 2000, to just 12 percent while China, by comparison, has gone from producing zero chips to 16 percent of the world’s supply because the United States is not matching the investments that other competing nations are making in order to land new job-creating semiconductor chip fabs.

The senator's first-ever legislation will reverse this imbalance and level the playing field for companies like Samsung to build new chip fabs in the United States. For the first-time Schumer’s legislation will provide federal incentives to semiconductor chip fabs to build in the United States.

U.S. Reliance on Foreign-made Microelectronics Could Pose 'Huge Risks'

Upon passage of his legislation last month in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act Schumer said his legislation is vital. He noted that even though the United States revolutionized the microelectronic industry and invented nearly all of the key technology used to this day, by 2030, non-U.S. competitors are projected to control 83 percent of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10 percent, threatening U.S. reliance on foreign-made microelectronics, which could pose huge risks to U.S. national and economic security.

In a recent meeting with the Commerce Secretary nominee, Governor Gina Raimondo, Schumer raised the urgent need to fully fund and implement the new Commerce semiconductor manufacturing grant program he passed into law as part of last year’s defense authorization, pointing to this Samsung investment as an example for why these federal incentives are such a high priority. Federal incentives are critical to the United States successfully competing with other countries, including China, for new semiconductor manufacturing investment like the proposed Samsung facility.

Schumer, in addition to paving the way for future federal incentives for investment into domestic semiconductor manufacturing previously brought STAMP to the attention of the Department of Defense, urging the agency to work with the semiconductor industry to expand the domestic supply of chips and other microelectronics.

STAMP is Made Specifically for What Samsung Needs

STAMP is specifically designed for development of large-scale semiconductor manufacturing. The 1,250 acre mega site can accommodate large advanced manufacturing operations with its expansive space for several plants.

Schumer has also previously lobbied the Board of Directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) to put STAMP on their map and pitched SIA’s 18 semiconductor industry CEOs to look to expand their operations in Upstate New York at sites like STAMP in Genesee County.

In 2017 Schumer helped secure Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of Empire Pipeline Inc.’s revised and extended PILOT agreement with Genesee County, the proceeds of which were needed to finance new water infrastructure at STAMP.

In 2016 Schumer began assisting STAMP secure necessary U.S. Fish and Wildlife right-of-way permits to construct new infrastructure hook-ups to STAMP. In 2012, Schumer successfully advocated on behalf of STAMP by calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide necessary wetlands permit assurances so that STAMP's developers could proceed with developing the site.

December 4, 2020 - 1:24pm

Press release:

After successfully securing in July an amendment to the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which expanded the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (Dec. 4) announced that the final version of the FY2021 NDAA will include his amendment.

It authorizes $8 billion in new benefits for vets suffering from Agent Orange-linked illnesses.

Schumer explained that upon the president’s signature, nearly 240,000 veterans around the state who might be suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism will be able to access healthcare and benefits, numbers that have expanded because of the senator’s amendment associating additional diseases with exposure to Agent Orange. Schumer originally launched this push from Rochester.

“After years and years of suffering and fighting, I proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with our Finger Lakes Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange to get Congress to take a major step forward and grant our heroes access to the medical care they need and have earned,” Senator Schumer said.

“It’s taken far too long, and we still need to see this change signed into law, but veterans across the country can celebrate today as a victory. We will work together to get this across the finish line in the very near future so those who put their lives on the line for our freedom can get the healthcare they deserve.

“I’m especially proud today to have expanded access to this incoming influx of benefits by securing an amendment that adds bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange. Our veterans, like those in the Finger Lakes, did not hesitate in the face of danger to fight for our country, and we must not nickel and dime them as they fight for their health now.”

The senator has fought for years to not only secure funding for Agent Orange-affected veterans’ health benefits, but also to increase the number of veterans who have access to those benefits.

Earlier this year, Schumer was in the Finger Lakes to unveil his plan to add an expansion of the illnesses associated with exposure to "Agent Orange" to the NDAA. The senator has also visited Staten Island, Long Island, Utica, Dunkirk, Wallkill and Albany to meet with Vietnam vets and advocate for an expansion of the associated illnesses list.

Schumer said that the nation’s Vietnam veterans – over 240,000 of which are in New York – who were exposed to "Agent Orange," have been calling on the feds to expand the list of diseases associated with the herbicide exposure.

“I am proud to have helped our Vietnam vets cut through bureaucratic red-tape and with only the president’s signature needed, New York’s vets are closer than ever to getting the medial access they deserve,” Schumer said.

He emphasized the importance of adding added bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of diseases associated with "Agent Orange" exposure, and reiterated just how long this fight has been waged.

Last year, the Senator secured a provision in the budget deal requiring OMB and the VA to issue a detailed report to Congress on the delay in adding these conditions to the presumptive conditions list, BUT the report was woefully insufficient and Schumer said those agencies failed to properly explain why they were denying veterans.

In addition to the failure to include bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism on the Agent Orange presumptive conditions list, the VA has never acted on a 2018 National Academies report that found sufficient evidence of association between exposure to herbicides and hypertension.

Schumer also explained that per the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the VA automatically accepts that if a Vietnam Veteran physically served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975, it is probable that the veteran was exposed to an herbicide agent like Agent Orange.

Furthermore, the Act established a list of “presumed” diseases that the VA stipulates are caused by Agent Orange exposure. Therefore, if a veteran served in Vietnam at any time between 1962-1975 and is diagnosed with one or more of the diseases VA recognizes as service connected, the VA will compensate the veteran and his or her family.

However, even though there has been scientific evidence linking Parkinsonism, bladder cancer and hypothyroidism to Agent Orange exposure, they are not currently on the VA’s list of recognized presumptive conditions.

Schumer said if an Agent Orange-related condition isn’t specifically listed on the presumptive conditions list then the VA forces the suffering veterans and their families to argue their claim in a lengthy, bureaucratic appeals process that can last years and often end in a denial. In many cases the veteran will die before the process is even concluded.

Schumer said veterans shouldn’t have to wage their own war to gather the scientific facts and medical opinions about hypothyroidism in order to receive the care and benefits needed to treat the illnesses they contracted because they served our nation.

Schumer said that is absolutely crucial that thousands of Vietnam-era veterans in New York State receive the healthcare benefits they need and deserve, and final passage of his amendment in the NDAA will allow that to happen.

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