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US bids to boost chips as Senate panel passes huge tech bill

(ATF) A group of US senators plans to unveil a $52 billion semiconductor production and research proposal to be tacked on to an even bigger bill designed to counter technological pressure from China.

The senators have been negotiating a compromise measure to address the issue in the face of rising Chinese semiconductor production and shortages affecting carmakers and other industries.

The plan follows a Senate committee vote to pass a compromise measure authorising more than $110 billion for basic and advanced technology research over five years.

The “Endless Frontier” act would authorise $100 billion, over five years to invest in basic and advanced research, commercialisation, and education and training programmes in key technology areas.

The sectors covered would include artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced communications, biotechnology and advanced energy as well as semiconductors.

REGIONAL HUBS

The measure would also authorise another $10 billion to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs and create a supply chain crisis-response programme to address issues like the shortfall in semiconductor chips harming auto production.

The bill is subject to approval by the full Senate and the House of Representatives is working on a similar effort.

“This legislation will allow the United States to out-compete countries like China, create more good-paying American jobs and help improve our country’s economic and national security,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who sponsored the main bill along with Senator Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Tuesday that the legislation must prohibit American money from being invested in China’s military companies.

With reporting by Reuters

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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