Tech Bills Target China, Aim to Make US More Self-Reliant (Marian Vejcik/Dreamstime.com)
By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 14 April 2022 10:18 PM
Congress is prepared to discuss two separate technology infrastructure bills to combat China in the coming days with broad support across the political spectrum, Newsweek reported on Thursday.
The House COMPETES Act and Senate Innovation and Competition Act would together see up to $350 billion invested in programs toward research and development, computer chip manufacturing, and quantum computing.
"We want to make sure that we lead in technology, not China, in A.I., in quantum computing, in clean technology, in synthetic biology, in semiconductor manufacturing, in electronics manufacturing. This is a massive investment in all of those areas," Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who helped craft the House bill, told the outlet.
"We've seen it with the supply chain crisis. We've been so dependent on products overseas, and that's led in part to the inflation. It's led to the shortages," he continued. "We don't want to be dependent on global supply chains for critical equipment."
Khanna said that by making these investments, the U.S. would become less reliant on China, a break that he believes needs to happen sooner than later with indications of an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan growing.
On Tuesday, Taiwan unveiled a 28-page National Defense Manual detailing several survival tactics, including finding bomb shelters, locating water and food supplies, preparing emergency first aid kits, and distinguishing between air raid signals, according to the New York Post.
There are also concerns over the disruption of computer chip supply chains if China takes Taiwan. According to the White House, 75% of production takes place in East Asia, with 90% of the most advanced chips made in Taiwan.
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., urged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in February to support easing regulation on the manufacturing of vital technologies to national security, like advanced computer chips.
"When I learned about the chip manufacturing shortage, I actually undertook to call the leaders of chip manufacturers around the world. … When I asked them what stands in the way of manufacturing here in the United States, one of the greatest obstacles is the timeline for permitting here in America," Hagerty said at the time.
Khanna said that the bipartisan concern over foreign chip production and lacking research and development will send his bill and similar legislation to President Joe Biden's desk "as soon as possible," per Newsweek.