Senate passes bill meant to boost tech industry, counter China

Senate passes bill meant to boost tech industry, counter China

The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill Tuesday that aims to boost American tech research and development to counter competition from China and other nations.

Senators voted 68-32 to pass the US Innovation and Competition Act, with 31 of the 32 “no” votes coming from Republicans. The other “no” was from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

At the heart of the bill is a $50 billion emergency allotment to the Commerce Department to stand up semiconductor development and manufacturing through research and incentive programs previously authorized by Congress. The funding is a response to America’s share of global semiconductor manufacturing dropping from 37% in 1990 to about 12% now, as well as a chip shortage that has exposed vulnerabilities in the US supply chain.

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An Intel Tiger Lake chip is displayed at an Intel news conference during the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

The legislation would also create a new directorate focused on artificial intelligence and quantum

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