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Congressional Negotiations Raise Chain, Semiconductor Package

“Surveys consistently show that Americans understand the importance of the chip industry to the U.S. economy and national security,” says Intel Corp. CEO Pat Gelsinger. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News)

“Surveys consistently show that Americans understand the importance of the chip industry to the U.S. economy and national security,” says Intel Corp. CEO Pat Gelsinger. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News)

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WASHINGTON – Comprehensive legislation recently passed by the US Senate to promote domestic semiconductor manufacturing will help launch formal negotiations with House legislators.

At a time when Parliament is preparing to review a bill passed by the Senate, there appears to be a bipartisan debate on the final version of the bill.

The sponsors of the bilateral innovation law aim to resolve the differences between the versions of the bill passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in order to reach legislation that will be signed by President Joe Biden before the summer. The previous version of the bill was known as the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA).

Yesterday’s Senate vote brings Congress one step closer to reviving American supply chains.

The main provision that sponsors intend to include in any final version is the allocation of more than $ 50 billion to facilitate semiconductor production. Supply chain bottlenecks have contributed to the slowdown in semiconductor chips that are said to be essential in everyday electronics and in the commercial transport landscape.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Trade Committee on Freight Transport, has repeatedly called on colleagues to negotiate a semiconductor, supply chain-centric measure.

“We have the opportunity to consistently contribute to America’s technological leadership to hire more people to help our country compete in the economy of the future. But we can’t do that if we can’t legislate and we can’t continue to wait for people who don’t want to go to the [legislative] conference, ”Cantwell said before the Senate. expense.

“By 2030, there could be more than 10 million new jobs in clean energy, advanced manufacturing, communications and computing. “All of these, you guess, depend on us doing the right amount of [research and development] and ensuring that we help bring U.S. production back to the United States,” the senator continued.

Technicians inspect semiconductor wafer on 28 February at Tower Semiconductor Ltd. in Migdal HaEmek, Israel. during factory testing. (Kobi Wolf / Bloomberg News)

The provisions of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, versions of which have recently been approved by Parliament, are expected to be incorporated into the semiconductor bill. The version, sponsored by Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And John Thune (R-S.D.), Targets the Federal Maritime Commission by requiring carriers to issue certain reports to the commission on a quarterly basis. The draft would also authorize the Commission to initiate certain investigations, partly related to late fees, and would pave the way for the registration of shipping exchanges.

Sensors Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And John Thune (R-S.D.)

“Port congestion and increased transportation costs pose unique challenges to U.S. exporters, who have seen the price of shipping containers quadruple in just two years, increasing costs for consumers and hurting our businesses,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Meanwhile, ocean-going vessels, mostly foreign-owned, have reported record profits.”

The White House has supported negotiations on a semiconductor legislative package on Capitol Hill. Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed: “We expect the House of Representatives to start the formal conference process soon.

“We have made significant progress over the past year in building our industrial base, including creating more manufacturing jobs last year than in any year in almost three decades, and making a historic and long-awaited investment in our country’s infrastructure.”

He added: “Competitiveness legislation, such as the Bilateral Innovation Act, is our opportunity to build on this success and create well-paid jobs, earn more in America and lower prices for working families.”

Pressure from lawmakers is a key industry stakeholder. Technology and freight companies have sounded the alarm about the need to renew domestic semiconductor production.

“Time is of the essence: American companies in every sector of the economy are facing semiconductor shortages, and the only way to alleviate the current supply-demand imbalance in the long run is to increase production capacity,” said Intel Corp. CEO Pat Gelsinger to Cantwell. and his colleagues recently in the Trade Committee. “Surveys consistently show that Americans understand the importance of the chip manufacturing industry to the U.S. economy and national security, and the widespread support for Congressional efforts to provide the industry with federal funding.”

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