Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate last week passed the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act, a law designed to boost the domestic semiconductor industry. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill next week.
The goal is to stave off the kinds of supply chain problems that have cut chip production in the past couple of years – and to protect the U.S. industry from increasing global competition. Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that besides providing money to encourage domestic chip making, the bill includes a provision that restricts U.S. companies’ future chip production in China.
Highlights from this segment include:
– The $52 billion in funding, plus billions more in tax credits, will go to U.S.-based semiconductor producers. Another $200 billion in funds for scientific research is in the bill, but would have to be appropriated by Congress later.
– Republicans and Democrats came together to support the bill, though a number of conservatives, including most Texas House members, opposed it. Supporters cite supply chain-related price increases on products from cars to computers as a key reason the bill is needed.
– A provision in the bill requires companies that accept funding through the bill to agree not to increase chip production in China. They can continue producing current products there. Intel has expressed opposition to the provision.