The CHIPS and Science Act is a measure to boost domestic production of semiconductor computer chips and a major priority for the Biden administration.
The back story of how the legislation reached Biden’s desk after more than 18 months reveals the complexities of bipartisanship, even when all sides agree on the need to act.
Many people don’t realize most of the semiconductors and microchips that power our phones, our vehicles and even our military’s weapons are made outside the U.S. — mostly in Taiwan.
More than 90% of advanced chips come from Taiwan.
As China becomes more aggressive toward Taiwan — threatening an invasion and carrying out days of consecutive military drills close by — some say our relying on the island nation has become a national security threat.
Should Taiwan be invaded or shipping channels closed, much of the world may face a cascading economic crisis and become unable to maintain chips-dependent weapons systems.
The CHIPS bill gives huge incentives to American companies to manufacture them here in the U.S. It’s a $280 billion investment to give tax breaks to American chip-makers — and spend more on research and development here.
The CHIPS bill was ultimately a bipartisan effort and passed the House and Senate with strong majorities.