Biden signs bill to bolster computer chip manufacturing

Business

President Joe Biden speaks before signing the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022” during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden has signed a $280 billion bill, known as the CHIPS and Science Act, to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing, with $52 billion set aside to bolster the U.S. computer chip sector.

“The future of the chip industry is going to be made in America,” Biden said in a sweltering Rose Garden ceremony Tuesday, referring to the diminutive devices that power everything from smartphones to computers to automobiles. 

Part of the bill includes giving huge incentives to American companies to manufacture said parts here in the U.S.

The bill, a major priority for the Biden administration that’s been more than a year in the making, cleared both chambers of Congress late last month with strong majorities.

It comes at a time when the U.S. is seeing a short supply of computer chips, affecting some businesses’ bottom line and overall supply chain issues.

Biden and members of his administration have portrayed the newly-signed legislation as a way to counter the influence of a rising China and give the U.S. a competitive edge, especially in semicondcutor manufacturing. The president noted during his remarks that the Chinese government had lobbied U.S. businesses against the legislation.

“Over 30 years ago, America had 40% of the global production of these chips,” Biden told reporters. “And then something happened. American manufacturing, the backbone of our economy, was hollowed out, we let semiconductor manufacturing overseas. And as a result today, we barely produce 10% of the semiconductors (in the world) despite being a leader in chip design, as well as research.”

More than 90% of advanced chips come from Taiwan, which has recently seen tensions grow with China over a trip House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to the island. China has even begun carrying out military drills, leading some to say that relying on Taiwan for items such as semiconductors has become a national security threat.

Along with the $52 billion in subsidies and tax credits offered to companies manufacturing chips in the United States, almost $200 billion is going into scientific research, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing and other technology, the New York Times reported.

Biden’s bill signing spurred Micron Technology, one leading U.S. chip manufacturer, to announce a $40 billion plan to boost domestic production of memory chips. Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries will unveil a $4.2 billion expansion of an upstate New York chip plant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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