Biden appeals to business leaders to push bill against Chinese tech threat

Biden appeals to business leaders to push bill against Chinese tech threat

WASHINGTON — President Biden is recruiting top executives and governors from two auto-industry states to push Congress to resolve differences and pass legislation aimed at bolstering U.S. competitiveness with China.

The legislation includes $52 billion to boost domestic manufacturing of silicon chips, a provision that supporters say is needed to ensure a steady supply of computer chips for electronics, automotive and other industries in the states. -United.

Executives of computer manufacturer HP Inc.,

Cummins engine manufacturer Inc.,

and home appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. are among those who will participate in an event with Mr. Biden at the White House on Wednesday, alongside Republican Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb and Democratic Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer.

The Senate in June passed its $250 billion version of the measure, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, on a bipartisan basis. The House approved its version, called the America Competes Act, mostly along party lines, with Republicans opposing measures in this version aimed at addressing issues such as climate change, human rights and social inequality. .

The House and Senate must resolve disputes through a conference process.

The White House has seen other parts of its national agenda stall and has turned to competition legislation as an opportunity to do something as the midterm elections approach.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo consulted with congressional leaders about the legislative proposals.


Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“Time is up,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who consults with congressional leaders, said in an interview Tuesday. “We have to take about two-thirds of it with this broad agreement, do that” and work on the rest, she said.

The House and Senate versions of the bills seek to increase federal support for scientific research and new technologies. Both authorize $52 billion to encourage US semiconductor production

Chip shortages have become a global issue during the Covid-19 pandemic as they are used in a wide range of products including consumer electronics, medical equipment and vehicles.

Also joining executives from Samsung Electronics Co.

Micron Technology Inc.

and Medtronic PLC.

Mr Biden urged Congress to act on the legislation in his State of the Union address, during which he introduced Intel Body

general manager as a guest.

“So let’s not wait any longer. Send it to my office, I’ll sign it, and we’ll really take off in a big way,” the president said in his speech earlier this month.

Mr Biden and his fellow Democrats, who currently have little control of the House and Senate, face challenges ahead of the midterm elections, with inflation at its highest level in 40 years and oil prices soaring. petrol. The president outlined a number of measures to bring prices under control, although short-term solutions are elusive.

Nor would competition bills solve the current situation. Raimondo, however, said increased domestic production of semiconductors and critical components could protect against future system disruptions.

“This bill says let’s get back to investing in American innovation,” she said.

Write to Alex Leary at [email protected]

Corrections & Amplifications
Whirlpool Corp. was among the companies represented at the White House meeting. An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Whirlpool Inc. (Corrected March 8.)

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