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Biden demands Congress pass chips innovation bill to counter China


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U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks during a visit at United Performance Metals in Hamilton, Ohio, May 6, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

President Joe Biden on Friday demanded Congress swiftly pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, a multibillion-dollar investment within the U.S. semiconductor industry that each Republican and Democrat say will help insulate the country from future supply chain disruptions in Asia.

Biden spoke at United Performance Metals, a metal manufacturer near Cincinnati. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, a Democrat and Republican, respectively, from Ohio, joined the president.

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Biden applauded the 2 men for his or her collaboration on the laws as a part of the broader bipartisan effort to bulk up domestic manufacturing.

“It is a bipartisan bill,” Biden told staff on the plant. “Senators Brown and Portman are working hard to get it done.”

“Pass the rattling bill and send it to me,” the president continued. “If we do, it may help bring down prices, bring home jobs and power America’s manufacturing comeback.”

While the Bipartisan Innovation Act is popular with members of each parties, House and Senate lawmakers are about to start work on rectifying differences of their two legislative versions. Negotiators for each chambers, including Brown, will hold their first formal meeting on the bill on Thursday, an individual aware of the matter told Reuters.

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Amongst its many provisions, the Bipartisan Innovation Act includes $52 billion in government subsidies to ramp up U.S. semiconductor production.

Biden said Friday that the sum will encourage semiconductor firms to construct facilities within the U.S. and help prevent the forms of chip shortages that currently undermine the automotive and electronics industries.

However the president stressed the thrust of the bill appeals to American lawmakers since it seeks to bolster U.S. technology and innovation and keep pace with China, a key geopolitical rival.

It will help “strengthen our economic and national security,” Biden said. “It’s no wonder the Chinese Communist Party is literally lobbying — paying lobbyists — against this bill passing.”

Biden’s trip to Ohio also comes because the president attempts to assist fellow Democrats within the upcoming 2022 midterm elections and forestall a Republican takeover of Congress.

The GOP and its candidates have attacked the president and the Democratic Congress for his or her management of the U.S. economy, noting that inflation is at a 40-year high, oil prices are still above $100 per barrel and the national average price of a gallon of standard gasoline is $4.28.

Former President Donald Trump won Ohio in 2016 and 2020, thanks partially to Rust Belt frustrations over seeing manufacturers relocate jobs to countries where labor costs are lower. Voters will determine in November whether Trump-backed Republican writer J.D. Vance or Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan will replace the retiring Portman within the Senate.

In his remarks, Biden highlighted the Labor Department’s April employment report, which showed U.S. employers added 428,000 jobs last month.

The April report was the twelfth straight month of gains over 400,000.

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