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Biden signs $280bn bill to make US more competitive over China

The legislation sets aside USD 52 billion specifically to bolster the US computer chip sector.

President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill worth USD 280 billion on August 9 to promote local high-tech manufacturing as part of his administration’s drive to make the United States more competitive than China.

Biden feted the legislation, a key component of his economic agenda that will encourage investments in the American semiconductor industry in an effort to reduce the US reliance on foreign supply chains for essential, cutting-edge goods. Biden was flanked by numerous lawmakers, union officials, local politicians, and business leaders.

He declared that the tiny electronics that power everything from cell phones to computers to autos will be manufactured in the United States in the future. The legislation sets aside USD 52 billion specifically to bolster the US computer chip sector.

After more than a year of work, the bill was eventually passed by large bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress late last month. Even though party leaders started urging their members to vote against it after Democrats advanced a separate comprehensive bill focusing on climate and health care, the House swiftly followed suit with a 243-187 vote that included 24 House Republicans in favour. The Senate passed it by a vote of 64-33, with 17 GOP senators supporting it.

The White House sought to begin selling the immediate impacts of the semiconductor measure, noting that Micron, a leading US chip manufacturer, will announce a USD 40 billion plan to boost domestic production of memory chips, while Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries will unveil a USD 4.2 billion expansion of an upstate New York chip plant.

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