Biden signs semiconductor bill, but Trump raid overshadows event: NPR

President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9. The legislation aims to stimulate domestic production of semiconductors.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9. The legislation aims to stimulate domestic production of semiconductors.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday announced legislation that will pump more than $50 billion into the research and manufacture of semiconductor chips, which power everything from medical devices and cars to computers and weapons systems, such as a “unique investment in America itself”. ”

“Today America is keeping its promises, and honestly before God, I believe that in 50, 75, 100 years, people who look back on this week, they will know that we met in this moment,” said Biden before signing the CHIPS and Science Act, short for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act. The ceremony brought together the chief executives of Lockheed Martin, Intel, HP, Micron and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as labor leaders and lawmakers.

The legislation provides $10 billion to invest in regional technology hubs across the country and a 25% investment tax credit for manufacturing expenditures on semiconductors and related equipment. It also authorizes about $100 billion in spending over five years for scientific research, including more than $80 billion for the National Science Foundation.

It was a week destined to be full of victory laps as Biden emerged from his Covid-related isolation just as Senate Democrats passed a flagship climate, health and tax package. But she was overshadowed on Monday night by news that FBI agents had raided the home of her predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

The unusual look for sparked cries of political interference from conservative lawmakers. These allegations have not been substantiated. A White House official said he was not notified of the search and referred questions to the Justice Department. Biden did not respond to questions at the event.

Biden also plans to sign the Senate ratification, paving the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, the White House is planning an event for Biden to sign new funding for veterans exposed to toxic combustion fireplaces and their survivors.

Semiconductor makers plan big expansions in the United States

The CHIPS bill aims to boost domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips in a bid to stay competitive with China. According to Congressional Research Servicenearly four-fifths of global manufacturing capacity was in Asia in 2019.

Countering China’s economic might has been a top priority for Biden since taking office. The new law will help invest in strategic assets to do this, said John Mezzalingua, CEO of JMA Wireless, who was present at the event.

“The United States has finally realized what the Chinese Communist Party has known for a long time – that 5G will become the central nervous system that connects and controls all other infrastructure,” Mezzalingua said in a statement. “The free world will depend on it – our homes, our schools, our jobs, our water supply systems, our power grids, our transportation networks, our manufacturing and our military.”

During his remarks, Biden described how the lack of domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity contributed to inflation when overseas factories closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

He pushed back on criticism of subsidizing the semiconductor industry, saying the law “doesn’t hand out blank checks to companies.”

“I’m directing my administration to laser focus on the safeguards that will protect taxpayers’ money,” Biden said. “That means making sure businesses partner with community colleges and technical schools, provide training and apprenticeship programs, and work with minority-owned small businesses. We will have the authority to withdraw any federal funding if companies do not respect these commitments required by the bill.

The White House has promoted investments in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing that the companies have announced, including a $40 billion commitment from Micron to memory chip manufacturing and a $4.2 billion investment from Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries to increase production. Qualcomm has announced that it will increase domestic semiconductor production by 50% over the next five years.

“We’re going to build an entire semiconductor ecosystem here in the United States of America,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at the White House event.

The bill is the latest bipartisan piece of legislation to hit Biden’s desk, after gun safety and Infrastructure legislation.

Seventeen Senate Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. 24 House Republicans also voted for the bill, opposing the party leadership that tried to oppose the bill amid a political fight over a Democratic deal on a climate and tax bill.

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