Top Biden officials say Pa. will benefit from approval of semiconductor industry stimulus bill

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Pennsylvania employers such as Lockheed Martin and research centers such as Carnegie Mellon University would be hampered if congressional negotiators did not quickly reach agreement on legislation to improve American competitiveness in the global semi- drivers, senior Biden administration officials warned Tuesday.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (WikiMedia Commons/US Department of Commerce).

We can’t wait. Other countries are not waiting,” US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during a press conference with reporters from Pennsylvania. “We will work as hard as possible to achieve this. It is simply too important for economic and national security.

The bipartisan law on innovation, sponsored by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, DN.Y., provides $52 billion in financing to boost domestic semiconductor production. The bill would also authorize the creation of the nation’s first Office of Supply Chain Resilience, headquartered within the Department of Commerce, which would address the kinds of supply chains laid bare by the COVID pandemic. -19.

The House and the Senate everyone passed their own version of the bill, and differences between the two chambers must be reconciled in conference committee before a final bill can be sent to President Joe Biden’s office. Last week, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, announced that she had appointed House delegates. Congress is currently out of session.

On Tuesday, Raimondo, joined by Tarun Chhabra, a senior member of the National Security Council, highlighted the current strategy and the disadvantage of the United States in the global market for semiconductors, the key technological elements that power everything from cars to computers. precision guided missile systems.

In 1990, the United States produced 40% of all semiconductor chips in the world, according to a NextGov report. By 2022, that share had fallen to 12%, with China and other countries taking over. Congressional authorization of the bill and a Biden signature would prevent that.

Bullets are at the forefront of our response and that of our allies to Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Raimondo said, referring to US sanctions against the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “… We are already seeing an effect on Putin’s ability to wage war. Russia is running out of precision-guided munitions, and Russian automakers have halted production. This shows a national security risk to the United States because we are too dependent on foreign manufacturers. »

Closer to home, Congressional approval of the bill would have a ripple effect on Pennsylvania by spurring economic development in the Keystone State. Penn State University, which has a cooperative program with other colleges and community colleges in Pennsylvania to train students to work with chips, would likely benefit from the research and development funding included in the bill, said Chhabra said.

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