Agreement on U.S. semiconductor bill could be expected soon
There has reportedly been ”significant progress” on a proposed bill to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry.
According to Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Caucus Chairman, there could be an agreement on the U.S. semiconductor bill by the end of July, a Reuters report reads.
The COMPETES Act is looking to supercharge the U.S. chip industry by providing USD 52 billion for domestic semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, and at the same time inject USD 45 billion to improve the nation’s supply chains.
The Senate passed a version of the bill in June last year, followed by the House passing a version of it on February 4th this year.
The Reuters report further reads that ”Lawmakers must resolve their differences and pass the legislation through both chambers again before President Joe Biden can sign it into law”.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is said to have told reporters that ”significant progress has been made” to find the common ground.
The chip industry is urging Congress to pass the Act swiftly
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has been one of the chip industry’s more outspoken leaders about getting the CHIPS Act passed in Congress. Gelsinger recently told Washington Post reporter, David Ignatius in an interview from July 12th that ”we now have a version of the bill that largely has passed this conference process”.
”… but unfortunately, [Mitch] McConnell has taken the view that ”Hey, I’m not going to let that move forward if the reconciliation bill continues to be pushed forward by Democrats, Gelsinger told Ignatius, describing the current state of the process as ”a bit of a political football”.
According to the Reuters report, Republican Senator Mitch McConnel could ”block passage if Democrats move ahead with a partisan effort to raise corporate taxes and curb carbon emissions”. Even if the House and Senate reach an agreement, the news agency adds.
On a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Gelsinger reportedly told that Intel may expand chip production in Europe if Congress fails to approve the 52 billion dollar subsidies.
”We have made super clear that, if this doesn’t pass, I will change my plans. The Europeans have moved forward very aggressively, and they are ready to give the incentives that allows us to move forward, Gelsinger told Ignatius.
Intel announced on March 15th its plans to set up semiconductor manufacturing in Magdeburg, investing EUR 17 billion into a “leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-site” in the German town. It was later reported that the state had promoted the project with billions of euros in funds.