To counteract the growing competition from China, the US senate has approved a bill to boost American semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition.
Overall, the bill would increase spending by about $250bn, with most of the spending occurring in the first five years. The US commerce department allotted the bill worth $50bn with the focus to boost the development and manufacturing of semiconductor through research and incentive programs previously authorized by Congress.
Before the signature of the Presidents is taken on the bill, the bill has to have the consent of the House of Representatives, which previously had had cleared a different version.
Joe Biden said “He was “encouraged” by the Senate’s passage of the United States Innovation and Competition Act.”
“We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off,” Biden said. “As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind. America must maintain its position as the most innovative and productive nation on Earth.”
As chip shortage has clearly pointed out weaknesses in the US supply chain. Globally semiconductor manufacturing has steadily eroded from 37% in 1990 to about 12%. Now, supporters described the bill as the biggest investment in scientific research that the country has seen in decades.
“The premise is simple, if we want American workers and American companies to keep leading the world, the federal government must invest in science, basic research and innovation, just as we did decades after the second world war,” said Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer.
“Whoever wins the race to the technologies of the future is going to be the global economic leader, with profound consequences for foreign policy and national security as well. If we do nothing, our days as the dominant superpower may be ending. We don’t mean to let those days end on our watch. We don’t mean to see America become a middling nation in this century.”
After great considerations and amendments the senators lead to the Tuesday final vote.
“This is an opportunity for the United States to strike a blow on behalf of answering the unfair competition that we are seeing from communist China,” said Roger Wicker.
Senators have tried to keep the balance afloat when calling attention to China’s growing influence. They want to avoid fanning divisive anti-Asian rhetoric when hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.