Warner applauds Senate passage of legislation to invest in American innovation, competition
The Senate voted on Tuesday to pass the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes provisions to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G and shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry.
“America’s innovation in semiconductors undergirds our entire innovation economy,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “A wide array of products – from planes and automobiles to household appliances and small ‘smart’ devices – rely on these chips, and demand is only growing. But for too long, the U.S. has allowed competitors like China to out-invest us. No more. This bill makes a major, $52 billion investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, which will create good-paying jobs in America while maintaining our global innovation edge.
“I am encouraged that this bill passed the Senate today on a broadly bipartisan basis, and strongly encourage our colleagues in the House to take it up and send it to the President’s desk without delay,” Warner said.
The United States Innovation and Competition Act – also known by an earlier name, the Endless Frontier Act – would help invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced research and development by investing $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act, a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil.
Semiconductors power modern technology, including cars, computers, smartphones and an increasing number of internet-connected ‘smart’ devices as varied as laundry machines to toothbrushes. A current production shortage of chips has backed up manufacturing supply lines in the United States, with major automobile manufacturers projecting $110 billion in lost sales this year due to factories sitting idle while waiting for components, and increased costs for goods such as televisions and home appliances dependent on imported semiconductors being passed on to U.S. consumers.
Demand for semiconductors is expected to continue to grow, as internet connectivity and software processing is added to an ever-wider array of consumer, enterprise, and industrial products, services, and systems.
The United States Innovation and Competition Act also includes funding for the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, legislation Sen. Warner introduced to support U.S. innovation in 5G and provide alternatives to Chinese equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE, which are heavily subsidized by the Communist Party of China and present serious risks to national security and the integrity of information networks globally.