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Biden signs China competition bill to spice up U.S. chipmakers

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bipartisan bill that goals to strengthen U.S. competitiveness with China by investing billions of dollars in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and science research.

“Today is a day for builders. Today America is delivering,” Biden said on the signing ceremony outside the White House. He was joined by a crowd of lots of, including tech executives, union presidents and political leaders from each parties.

The bill, dubbed the Chips and Science Act, includes greater than $52 billion for U.S. firms producing computer chips, in addition to billions more in tax credits to encourage investment in semiconductor manufacturing. It also provides tens of billions of dollars to fund scientific research and development and to spur the innovation and development of other U.S. tech.

The Biden administration also contended that the laws will “unlock lots of of billions more” in private spending within the industry. The White House said Tuesday that multiple firms, “spurred” by the chips bill, have announced greater than $44 billion in latest semiconductor manufacturing investments.

Of that sum, $40 billion is coming from Micron’s investment in memory chip manufacturing. The White House said the corporate’s initiative will yield 8,000 latest jobs and boost the U.S. market share of memory chip production to 10% from 2%.

A newly announced partnership between Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, includes $4.2 billion in chip production as a part of an expansion of GlobalFoundries’ upstate Recent York facility, the White House said.

Advocates say the funding is required to sharpen America’s technological edge and reinvigorate its lagging chip industry. The U.S. produces only about 10% of the world’s supply of semiconductors, whereas East Asia accounts for 75% of world production — including many of the top-tier chips, based on the White House.

US President Joe Biden (C) signs H.R. 4346, the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 9, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Semiconductors are critical pieces of an array of products including consumer electronics, automobiles, health-care equipment and weapons systems. The Covid-19 pandemic sparked a chip shortage and strained supply chains, highlighting America’s dependence on foreign-made chips and revealing a possible national security threat, officials say.

The signing comes as Biden and congressional Democrats cap a flurry of activity before lawmakers leave Washington for the remaining of the month and switch their attention to midterm election campaigns.

Senate Democrats on Sunday passed a sweeping bill to fund ambitious climate, energy and health policies by raising taxes on wealthy corporations and reforming prescription drug pricing. The bill, a significant piece of Biden’s agenda that Democrats had worked on for well over a 12 months, squeaked through with no Republican support within the chamber, which is evenly split by party. Vice President Kamala Harris forged the tiebreaking vote.

In late June, Biden also signed a bipartisan bill to strengthen gun regulations, including by enhancing requirements for background checks. The laws sped through Congress within the wake of a deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, through which a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.

And last week, Biden revealed that a U.S. strike in Afghanistan killed top al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was considered a mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Biden can also be expected to sign one other bill this week that bolsters health advantages for veterans who were exposed to chemicals that billowed from toxic burn pits.

That bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support after Republicans temporarily blocked it. The move stoked outrage from some veterans’ groups, in addition to comedian Jon Stewart, who emerged as a number one advocate.

Biden’s already-middling approval rankings have sunk in recent months, as global inflation and provide chain issues take a toll on Americans’ wallets on the food market and the gas station. His unpopularity, paired with a tricky political map and other political headwinds, has fueled concerns amongst Democrats that they may suffer a rout within the November midterms that ends in Republicans taking control of 1 or each chambers of Congress.

But the most recent polls show Democrats’ possibilities of keeping the Senate have improved, and Biden on Monday predicted that the climate and tax bill’s passage will “immediately help” within the midterms.

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