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US: Parliament approves ‘competitiveness’ bill to boost semiconductor industry


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Despite Republicans’ objections, the House of Representatives today voted in favor of a multibillion-dollar bill aimed at boosting US competitiveness with China and boosting the semiconductor industry.

In this new episode of the “war” between Washington and Beijing, the House approved, with 222 votes in favor against 210 against, the bill for the production of semiconductors (chips) on American soil. Electronic chips are necessary for the production of mobile phones, cars and other electrical and electronic devices, and even for the operation of oxygen supply devices in hospitals. With the pandemic, industries saw their stocks decline at an alarming rate.

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Coincidentally, the bill was passed by Parliament just hours after the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which the United States is boycotting at the diplomatic level. The “America COMPETES act” bill provides for $ 52 billion to revitalize the American semiconductor industry, which is currently built almost exclusively in Asia.

A similar text was adopted in June by the Senate, where it was voted on by both parties. But the two bills will have to be harmonized, which means that long negotiations are planned on the Capitol Hill.

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The government claims that the lack of semiconductors is partly responsible for the rampant inflation in the United States and the threat to American households, as well as the popularity of US President Joe Biden.

The House bill also envisions investing $ 45 billion to strengthen the supply chain. It is an “urgent need” for the economy and national security “to support industry and American workers,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier. The United States will no longer be “at the mercy of other countries,” he told a news conference.

Republicans disagreed with the text on the grounds that it does not hold Beijing accountable for its human rights abuses and, in addition, envisions excessive investment in combating climate change.

China, which has been at “economic war” with the United States since the time of Donald Trump, is one of the few issues on which the current Democratic president continues the policy of his Republican predecessor. Beijing, for its part, accuses Washington of “exaggerating” the so-called Chinese threat.

Biden pointed out in January the enormous economic potential of chips, citing cars, 4% of which are now semiconductors. In 2030, this percentage will rise to 20%. That’s why it is pushing industries to resume production in the US. Intel has already announced that by the end of the year it will build two semiconductor plants in Ohio, the old “capital” of steel.

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