US Senators Said to Be Briefed on Bill to Boost Chip Manufacturing


Three senior Biden administration officials will brief senators on Wednesday on the global innovation and technology race and a proposed bill to boost US semiconductor manufacturing, two officials told Reuters.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks will conduct the classified all-senators briefing at 4:00pm EDT (1:30am IST) on Wednesday as Democratic lawmakers and the White House make a push to win approval for legislation that would fund $52 billion (roughly Rs. 4,134,99 crore) for chip production subsidies and boost US scientific and technological innovation to compete with China.

Raimondo told ABC News Sunday the chips funding bill “has to pass now. Not in six months from now, (but) now. It’s bipartisan.” She said the chips bill would help “bring down the prices of chips, which will bring down the price of pretty much everything you buy, because everything includes chips.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell threatened recently to try to block the bill if Democrats move forward with a social spending and climate bill.

The Senate legislation, passed in June 2021, included $52 billion for chip subsidies and authorised another $200 billion (roughly Rs. 15,90,510 crore) to boost US scientific and technological innovation to compete with China.

The House version, passed in February, is similar but nearly 3,000 pages long and includes a number of trade proposals not in the Senate bill. Many House provisions are expected to be dropped.

Some fear Congress will not be able to reach a deal before the November congressional elections if it does not come to an agreement in the coming weeks.

A persistent shortage of chips has disrupted the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to scale back production. Many companies think the shortage will last at least until late 2023 if not longer.

Lawmakers warn some major investments in new US chip production could be jeopardized without action from Congress.

© Thomson Reuters 2022



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