A Billion Dollar Technology Package has Passed the US Senate
Among other things, semiconductor production in the USA is to be boosted – in order to compete with China.
With bipartisan approval, the US Senate passed a bill that, among other things, is intended to promote the manufacture of semiconductors.
The draft will spend $ 250 billion on technological research and development. It aims to counter China’s influence. The world is in the toughest competition since the end of World War II, said the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, after the vote on Tuesday. And further:
If we do nothing, our days as the dominant superpower could be numbered.
Chuck Schumer, US Senate
And further: “We do not want these days to end under our direction. We do not want America to be a mediocre nation in this century”.
Biden: competing for victory in the 21st century
US President Joe Biden welcomed the Senate vote. However, the bill is still lacking the approval of the House of Representatives, where according to the US media there could be resistance.
The bill will enable the US to “discover, manufacture and improve the most important technologies of tomorrow – from artificial intelligence to computer chips to lithium batteries used in smart devices and electric vehicles – right here in the United States States, “explained Biden.
We are competing for victory in the 21st century and the starting shot has been fired,
Biden continued. “We must not fall behind while other countries continue to invest in their research and development.” The US would have to maintain its position as “the most innovative and productive nation in the world”.
White House: US firms rely on foreign countries
With 68 votes to 32, the Senate approved approximately $ 190 billion for US technology and research. It will also spend $ 54 billion to boost US manufacturing and research in semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, including $ 2 billion in chips used by automakers.
According to the White House, the proportion of semiconductor production capacity in the US has fallen from 37 percent 20 years ago to around twelve percent of global production. US companies are dependent on foreign countries, in particular on countries in Asia, which is a risk in the supply chain.
Car makers are struggling with lack of chips in the market
Currently, many automakers and electronics manufacturers are struggling with not enough chips on the market. Among other things, the surge in demand for notebooks and other computer technology during the pandemic led to the shortage of semiconductors.
Senator Todd Young, a Republican co-author of the draft, said the bill “is not just about beating the Chinese Communist Party”. It is also about “becoming a better version of ourselves” by investing.