US President Biden signs off on semiconductor bill in challenge to China
The future of microchip production will be "made in America," said US President Joe Biden while presenting the $280 billion Chips and Science Act. The law, which would lower the cost of automobiles, cellphones, consumer electronics, and appliances—all of which require chips—has been hailed by the White House as a victory for the American economy.
President Biden on Tuesday signed into law a bill known as the Chips and Science Act, providing more than $200 billion to boost domestic production of semiconductor computer chips and reduce US reliance on overseas manufacturing of the components that power nearly all facets of modern technology. Following months of talks, the law was approved by both chambers of Congress last month with broad bipartisan support. The measure was a high priority for the Biden administration, and senior officials warned Congress that failing to act would have consequences for both the economic and national security prior to its passage.
During a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Biden said, "We know there are individuals who focus more on acquiring power than protecting the future, those who seek division instead of strength and solidarity, who tear down rather than build up."
The decision was made as a result of the ongoing global scarcity of semiconductors, which are essential for making microchips. The phrases "microchip" and "semiconductor" are sometimes used interchangeably.
At the celebration for the law's passage, state and local elected officials joined congressional leaders and business executives. According to a White House official, attendees included the CEOs of Intel, HP, and Lockheed Martin as well as the governors of Illinois and Pennsylvania and the mayors of Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Idaho, and Utah.
The president pointed out that the United States produces fewer than 10% of the world's semiconductors, a sharp decline over the previous 30 years as manufacturing shifted abroad.
The White House touted the almost $50 billion in extra investments in domestic semiconductor manufacture that it said were made possible by the legislation's passage by Congress before the package was signed into law.
The law, which would lower the cost of automobiles, cellphones, consumer electronics, and appliances—all of which require chips—has been hailed by the White House as a victory for the American economy.