Biden set to sign semiconductor bill, a boost for US manufacturing

Politics

FILE – President Joe Biden attends an event to support legislation that would encourage domestic manufacturing and strengthen supply chains for computer chips in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, March 9, 2022, in Washington. Just hours before Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell threatened to block a bill to revive the U.S. computer chip sector, senior Biden aides met on a Thursday morning to plan for that exact scenario. They decided to keep pushing and working bipartisan relationships with legislators developed over 18 months, leading to the passage of the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(NewsNation) — Fresh off a major legislative victory with the Senate passing a sweeping climate and health care bill, President Joe Biden is expected to sign another major bill on Tuesday.

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.

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