WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a $280 billion bipartisan bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing as part of his administration’s push to boost America’s competitiveness against China.
Flanked by scores of lawmakers, union officials, local politicians and business leaders, Biden made legislation a key part of his economic agenda to encourage investments in the U.S. semiconductor industry and ease America’s reliance on foreign supply chains. Advanced products.
“The future of the chip industry is going to be made in America,” Biden said at a Rose Garden ceremony on Tuesday, referring to the tiny devices that power everything from smartphones to computers to automobiles. The act specifically earmarks $52 billion to boost the U.S. computer chip industry.
The bill has been in the works for more than a year, but was finally passed by both houses of Congress late last month with significant bipartisan margins. The Senate passed it 64-33, with 17 GOP senators supporting it, while the House quickly followed suit with a 243-187 vote, including 24 House Republicans in favor, as party leaders began urging their caucuses to vote against it after Democrats advanced. A separate sweeping bill focused on climate and health care.
The White House sought to sell the immediate implications of semiconductor activity on Tuesday, with leading U.S. chipmaker Micron announcing a $40 billion plan to boost domestic production of memory chips, while Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries announced a $4.2 billion expansion. An upstate New York chip plant.
The administration has repeatedly portrayed the legislation as a key element in countering rising Chinese influence and ensuring the United States maintains a competitive edge against Beijing, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing. Administration officials have given lawmakers several briefings to outline the bill’s national security implications, and Biden noted during his remarks Tuesday that the Chinese government has pressured American businesses against the law.
“The CHIPS and SCIENCE Act will inspire a new generation of Americans to answer that question: What’s next?” Biden said Tuesday during the signing ceremony. “Decades from now, people will look back on this week and all that we’ve been through, all that we’ve moved on, we’ve met at this turning point in history.”
Tuesday’s ceremony is one of several public events Biden has planned since recovering from COVID-19, including a visit to flood-ravaged Kentucky on Monday and a signing event on Wednesday for legislation to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits. But Biden appeared to be dealing with some residual symptoms, coughing several times during his remarks and at one point apologizing for doing so.