D.he US Senate has voted for a comprehensive package of laws designed to make the United States more competitive with Chinese technology. The world is in the toughest competition since the end of World War II, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday. “If we don’t do anything, our days as the dominant superpower may be numbered. We don’t want these days to end under our direction. We don’t want America to be a mediocre nation this century. “
With 68 votes to 32, the Senate approved spending nearly $ 250 billion. Part of that is $ 190 billion for US technology and research. It also plans to spend $ 54 billion on semiconductor and telecommunications equipment, including $ 2 billion on chips used by automakers.
Biden hopes for better access to future technologies
US President Joe Biden welcomed the Senate vote. However, the bill is still lacking the approval of the House of Representatives, where according to the US media there could be resistance. “We are competing for victory in the 21st century and the starting shot has been fired,” said Biden. “We must not fall behind while other countries continue to invest in their research and development.” The US would have to maintain its position as “the most innovative and productive nation in the world”.
The bill will enable the US to “discover, manufacture and improve tomorrow’s key technologies – from artificial intelligence to computer chips to lithium batteries used in smart devices and electric vehicles – right here in the United States States, ”explained Biden.
According to the White House, the proportion of semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the US has fallen from 37 percent 20 years ago to around 12 percent of global production. US companies are dependent on foreign countries, in particular on countries in Asia, which is a risk in the supply chain.
Many automakers and electronics manufacturers are currently struggling with not enough chips on the market. Among other things, the surge in demand for notebooks and other computer technology during the pandemic led to the shortage of semiconductors.