Biden Inks $52.7-B Chip Production Bill To Trump China Advantage
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (Wednesday, August 10, 2022, in Manila) signed into law a bill that invests $52.7 billion in semiconductor production and development in a bid to secure a technological edge amid intensifying competition with China, Mainichi Japan reported.
Photo Insert: "Today, we bring microchip building – and the jobs that come with it – home," wrote the 46th US President on social media.
The enactment of the law, which includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, also comes as the US is accelerating cooperation with Japan, a key security ally, to build resilient semiconductor supply chains that rely less on potential adversaries.
Calling the CHIPS and Science Act a "once-in-a-generation investment in America itself," Biden said during the bill's signing ceremony that the planned investment is intended to put the US in a position of "leading the world again for the next decades."
CHIPS stands for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors. Many essential technologies, ranging from smartphones and automobiles to defense systems, rely on semiconductors.
A stable supply of chips even during disruptions such as conflicts and natural disasters has become a matter of urgency, as the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have revealed the vulnerabilities of supply chains for the high-tech component as well as other essential items, Kyodo News also reported.
Although semiconductor technology was invented in the US, the country currently produces only about 10 percent of the world's supply after willy-nilly dispatching its manufacturing facilities overseas and eventually losing its advantage to industrial piracy led by China.
The world's semiconductor manufacturing capacity is also heavily concentrated in East Asia -- a region exposed to high geopolitical tensions -- with Taiwan accounting for 20 percent of the total in 2019, followed by South Korea at 19 percent, Japan at 17 percent, and China producing 16 percent, according to a 2021 US government report.