WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bipartisan $280 billion bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing, part of his administration’s push to boost America’s competitiveness over China.
Flanked by dozens of lawmakers, union officials, local politicians and business leaders, Biden hailed the legislation, a central part of his economic agenda that will spur investments in the US semiconductor industry in an effort to ease US dependence on overseas supply chains for critical, next-generation goods.
“The future of the chip industry will be made in America,” Biden said at a sultry Rose Garden ceremony Tuesday, referring to the tiny devices that power everything from smartphones to computers to cars. The legislation sets aside $52 billion specifically to boost the US computer chip sector.
The bill has been more than a year in the making, but it finally passed both houses of Congress late last month with significant bipartisan margins. The Senate approved it 64-33, with the support of 17 Republican senators, while the House quickly followed suit with a 243-187 vote that included 24 House Republicans in favor, despite party leaders they began urging their ranks to vote against it after the Democrats advanced. a separate sweeping bill focused on climate and health care.
The White House on Tuesday sought to begin selling the immediate impacts of the semiconductor move, noting that Micron, a leading US chipmaker, will announce a $40 billion plan to boost domestic chip production. memory, while Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries will reveal a $4.2 billion expansion. from a chip plant in upstate New York.
The administration has also repeatedly presented this legislation as a critical component in countering the influence of a rising China and ensuring that the US can maintain a competitive edge against Beijing, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing. Administration officials have held multiple briefings for lawmakers to outline the national security implications of this bill, and Biden noted during his remarks Tuesday that the Chinese government had lobbied American companies against the legislation.
“The CHIPS and Science Act will inspire a whole new generation of Americans to answer that question: What’s next?” Biden said Tuesday during the signing ceremony. “Decades from now, people will remember this week and everything we went through and everything we went through, that we found the moment at this turning point in history.”
Tuesday’s ceremony is one of several public events Biden has scheduled since recovering from COVID-19, including a visit to flood-ravaged Kentucky on Monday and another signing event Wednesday for legislation helping veterans who have suffered toxic burns. But Biden seemed to be dealing with some residual symptoms, coughing heavily several times during his remarks and apologizing at one point for doing so.