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Stefanik voted no to federal $1.5 B for NY21 GlobalFoundries operation

From "Learning to Love Big Tech" by Will Doolittle at The Front Page - Upstate New York, February 25, 2024.

"When I worked at the Post-Star, I dined out on the GlobalFoundries deal, criticizing the state of New York repeatedly for giving the company huge amounts of cash and tax breaks to locate its chip fabrication plant in southern Saratoga County.

The $1.2 billion cost to taxpayers meant New York was paying $1 million per job for the 1,200 jobs the company promised to bring here, I pointed out in at least a dozen columns and blog posts.

Malta was already a prosperous suburban town, and if the state wanted to boost the economy by giving away money, it should have targeted farms or other small local businesses in places that needed the help, I argued.

GlobalFoundries was owned by the country of Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate in the United Arab Emirates. The company is now publicly traded, but Mubadala, a sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, still owns about 90% of the stock.

Did it make sense, I asked, to give the state’s tax dollars to wealthy sheiks?

Maybe it did. 

Since it began production in 2012, the Malta plant has gone through various reconfigurations and expansions that cost the company billions of dollars. It now employs about 2,500 people, and, with the announcement of a huge new federal investment, it will hire another 1,500 within the next few years.

As part of its emphasis on U.S. manufacturing, the Biden administration announced last week a $1.5 billion award to the local GlobalFoundries operation. One part of the expansion will be dedicated to prevention of the sort of shortage that developed during the pandemic, when overseas suppliers were unable to provide chips necessary for the production of cars.

GlobalFoundries is an international company. This is its campus in Dresden, Germany. (By Fensterblick,

Although I still balk at the way the state and federal governments hand out billions to huge corporations while local businesses scrape for assistance, this is the help that is being offered, and it makes no sense to reject it.

The federal bill that led to the award — Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act — passed with bipartisan support, although Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders opposed it, as he has opposed corporate welfare for his long career in politics. 

Harder to understand is the opposition of our congresswoman, Elise Stefanik, who lives in Saratoga County about half an hour from the GlobalFoundries plant and who was one of the early sponsors of the act, known as CHIPS.

Her about-face was another example of the many ways she now prioritizes national politics over the good of her district. If obstructing legislation favored by President Biden means voting against her own constituents, she’ll do it.

She is not our congresswoman now. She is a member of Congress whose priorities align with ours only when they oppose President Biden’s. The interests of the people who put her in office have been subsumed to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

The bill passed without Stefanik’s help, however, and it’s time (for me) to recognize how fortunate we are to have a huge high-tech employer like GlobalFoundries in our region.

Like other manufacturing-heavy regions, the Glens Falls area suffered from globalization and the passage of the North American Free Trade Act in the early 1990s. Several local plants moved overseas.

Biden’s effort to resurrect and expand American manufacturing is good for us. It’s a shame our congresswoman doesn’t care."

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