December 9, 2022

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U.S. Congress examines China tech bill

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U.S. Congress leaders revealed on Wednesday that lawmakers are working on a draft to discuss a definitive settlement on a bill to elevate semiconductor manufacturing and U.S. technology rivalry with China.

The Senate and the House of Representatives leaders declared their latest tactic to heighten the country’s technological empowerment margin.

Democratic New York Senator and majority leader Chuck Schumer had initially aimed to connect the bill with an annual defense policy proposal of $750 million. The decision of separate legislation between Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi came after Republican Senator and some House Democrats opposed Schumer’s approach towards connecting the China legislation to the defense bill.

On Monday, the majority leader announced that he initially plans to incorporate the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This proposal created a halt to the Senate’s needed action on the NDAA, which was already facing delays.

“While there are many areas of agreement on these legislative proposals between the two chambers, there are still a number of important unresolved issues,” Schumer and Pelosi stated in their statement.

Both chambers “will immediately begin a bipartisan process of reconciling the two chambers’ legislative proposals so that we can deliver a final piece of legislation to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”

The Competition Act includes a $52 billion funding to enhance the country’s semiconductor production, with an additional $190 billion to empower homegrown research and development (R&D) to compete with Chinese capacities.

In June, the Senate passed the USICA with bipartisan support. However, the House of Representatives did not take any measures to pass the Act.

“Working with President Bide, the House and Senate have been crafting bipartisan legislation to bolster American manufacturing, fix our supply chains, and invest in the next generation of cutting-edge technology research,” they added to their statement.

The Democratic Majority leader and House Speaker announced that they will now go to official negotiations on USICA in the upcoming “conference” stage.

By: Sheila Satori Mensa

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