China is fighting attempts in Washington to pass a semiconductor manufacturing bill because it fears a more competitive US punch.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Beijing had been pushing US executives, companies and business groups to fight against China-related bills in Congress, including the proposed $52 billion chip subsidies and development bill.
On Thursday, Congress opens formal negotiations on a compromise measure to boost US competitiveness with Chinese technology. It could still take months to reach a final deal.
“China doesn’t want us to pass the semiconductor bill, Raimondo told a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing. “It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Raimondo said China had invested $160 billion in domestic semiconductor production. “The last thing they want is for us to invest $52 billion.”
Letters Sent to US Executives
In November China’s embassy in Washington sent letters pressing executives to urge members of Congress to alter or drop specific bills, especially the semiconductor bill, that seek to enhance US competitiveness.
Chinese officials warned companies they would risk losing market share or revenue in China if the semiconductor bill becomes law, according to the text of the letters.
Beijing has said it opposes such legislation, arguing it stokes anti-China sentiment and is based on “Cold War-era thinking”.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell