Biden pushes for US chip bill
US President Joe Biden met CEOs virtually this week as part of a push for legislation to boost his nation’s semiconductor industry.
The President met with chief executives of Lockheed Martin Corp, Medtronic PLC and Communs Inc alongside other labour leaders.
“Congress must pass this bill as soon as possible,” said Biden. “There is an economic imperative… this bill is going to supercharge efforts to make semiconductors.”
US semiconductor production will receive about $52bn in subsidies if the bill is passed, along with a four-year 25% tax credit aimed to encourage companies to build US semiconductor plants.
The tax credit is thought to be worth around $24bn. The bill also includes provisions such as a $1bn grant program for “persistently distressed communities”.
The aim of the bill is to ease the shortage of semiconductors that has disturbed production in industries such as automobiles, medical equipment, consumer electronics and high-tech weapons.
Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said at the event that “this is about investing in the United States”. Adding, “America has become totally reliant on China particularly for “chips used in aircraft, medical devices, and industrial machines.”
Senator Bernie Sanders argued against the proposed legislation, calling it a “blank check” to the “enormously profitable” chips industry.
However, Biden has denied criticism that the bill is a handout for big companies, stating that Commerce would claw back funds from firms that fail to keep to their commitments.
For a full transcription of the meeting click here.
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