The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill aimed at boosting US semiconductor manufacturing and increase American competitiveness with China.
The “America COMPETES Act of 2022” was passed with a narrow margin of 222-210 votes, backed by the Democratic-majority and largely along party lines.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill “will ensure that America is preeminent in manufacturing, innovation and economic strength and can outcompete any nation.” Earlier, she said that she intended to begin negotiations with the Senate as soon as possible.
The bill covers sweeping investments on manufacturing, including $52 billion to make semiconductors, $45 billion to ease supply chain problems that have amplified chip shortages, and $160 billion for scientific research and innovation.
Changes in US trade policies are also included in the legislation, including anti-dumping rules that would offset market-distorting trade practices from China, a major chip exporter.
Republicans opposed the bill over being too weak against China, criticizing it for being loaded with other priorities such as an $8-billion climate fund.
Florida Republican Congressman Daniel Webster said he supported the research agenda but thought the efforts were concentrated on the government side.
“We’re trying to get something that is less government and more open private sector. What they’re doing is basically trying to get a government funded program to decide all the things that are happening,” Webster told NPR.
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