Intel uses White House Oval Office for splash on Arizona factory

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

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich told reporters about the investment while standing behind President Donald Trump. Trump told reporters Krzanich called him a few weeks ago to say he wanted to meet to make a big announcement.

Krzanich said he made the announcement at the White House as a sign of support for the “tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward.”

Trump, a Republican who took office on Jan. 20, promised during his campaign to push 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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The issue did not come up during the Oval Office meeting, said Reed Cordish, a White House official in charge of technology initiatives.

The company said in a statement that the plant would be completed in three or four years.

The chip factory was started in 2011 as a $5 billion project that was targeted to open in late 2013. Intel shelved its plans in 2014 when smartphones and tablets cut into demand for chips for personal computers.

Krzanich said in an email to Intel employees that was posted on the company’s website that the factory would build chips for data centers and smart devices.

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, Toni Reinhold