August 13, 2022

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280 billion. America puts pressure on semiconductors (and against China)

With 64 votes in favour, including Republicans, the Senate passed the Chips and Science Act, a $280 billion package that Washington wants to free itself from its dependence on Asian semiconductors. Biden and industrialists cheer. He instead highly criticized Bernie Sanders, the only Democrat who voted against him. For Beijing, the bill would be “cold war” material

If concrete evidence was needed to show how interested the United States is in the challenge with China, it came yesterday from the Senate. By 33 votes to 64, including 17 Republican ranks Chip and science lawthe package from 280 billion dollars Which America intends to support its own industry Semiconductors To break free from Asian addiction. It was one of the president’s priorities Joe Bidena staunch supporter of the proposal, who wrote in a statement that he believed it “would mean more resilient US supply chains” so that we don’t depend so much on foreign countries to get the core technologies we need “and to provide the United States with a long-term industrial plan, absent as of now. Now the ball goes to The House of Representatives, where it must be approved without major problems, and only then will he lose the signature of the president, scheduled for early next week.

However, the legislative process was by no means simple. he is The beauty lasted for three years, with different stages in between. More importantly, last year was when the proposal was blocked in the House of Representatives in February, after the Senate gave it the green light. The fear of disapproval of the bill was great. However, at that point, it was President Biden who took to the field, urging lawmakers to consider an issue that has become national security. No government in a country, even if it is as powerful as ours, can remain isolated. One enthusiast said at the time of approval, I think it’s a drastic change Chuck SchumerThe Democratic senator from New York is a staunch supporter of the measure.

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Through this they will come content $52.7 billion in direct financial assistance, which will be addressed to build and expand semiconductor production plants (39 billion), to enhance research and training of personnel (11 billion), but also to speed up the process of manufacturing materials (2 billion). It must be added to these others $24 billion in tax incentives and increasing federal spending (more than $170 billion) on scientific research over the next five years, with a focus on artificial intelligence. All the signs that the US does not want to lose more ground at the expense of its competitors – primarily China – and how it is convinced that without investments in the technology sector, no country can be defined as a leader.

And so political pride and revenge gave way to the good of America, which would have run into an extraordinary reality. Just to understand: If Washington had lost access to Taiwanese semiconductors, it would have seen GDP fall by nearly ten percentage pointssending entire sectors such as the automobile sector into crisis. General motorsNot surprisingly, he said just two days ago that he had more than 90,000 incomplete vehicles due to lack of chips. There was pressure too Intel Corporation And the GlobalWafers, announcing a month ago that their plans depended on approval of the package. Therefore, a plan was needed to avoid this catastrophe and allow Stars and Stripes companies to ensure the country’s autonomy.

“Because Americans were concerned about the state of the economy and the cost of living, the bill had one answer: It would speed up semiconductor production in America, lowering prices for everything from cars to dishwashers,” he continued in his speech. President Biden notes. This is because the national production will grow along with the different types Intel, Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing, global foundries, micron technology, applied materials And other companies in the sector that will be able to benefit from the big money coming. So the industrialists celebrate, with new factories to be built in two or three years, but also the workers waiting to create new jobs.

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However, not everyone rejoices. The critical voice was the senator’s voice Bernie Sanderswho accused the CEO of Intel, Patrick Gelsinger, By manipulating lawmakers by threatening to go to production abroad. The leader of the American left was in fact the only Democrat who voted against him, seeing in the chip bill not an opportunity but a “blank check,” which Washington handed over to semiconductor manufacturers.

Above all, China is not laughing. From the embassy in the US they reported how Beijing “strongly opposes” the bill that would reflect a “Cold War mentality and zero-sum game”, in stark contrast to “the common aspiration of people in all sectors, in China and the United States, to enhance exchanges and cooperation”. All this happens when Joe Biden Xi Jinping They are ready to listen on the phone, with the Chinese president sure to ask for an account of what the US Senate has just approved.