Senate-Handed Invoice Encourages Tech Competitors, Particularly With China : NPR

The invoice appropriates practically $250 billion for science and expertise in a bid to counter China’s rise. It had sturdy bipartisan assist — an indication of how massive the perceived risk from China looms.


So the Senate did one thing exceptional yesterday. It handed a invoice with sturdy bipartisan assist, and it is a large one. The Innovation and Competitors Act of 2021 unlocks practically $250 billion in funding for science and expertise within the U.S. It is designed to counter China’s rising power in these areas. NPR China affairs correspondent John Ruwitch stories.

JOHN RUWITCH, BYLINE: The invoice handed with greater than two-thirds of the Senate in favor, which highlights the extent of alarm over China’s burgeoning tech prowess.


CHUCK SCHUMER: The world is extra aggressive now than at any time for the reason that finish of the second world conflict.

RUWITCH: Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer was a key sponsor and led the cost to get it handed.


SCHUMER: If we do nothing, our days because the dominant superpower could also be ending. We do not imply to let these days finish on our watch. We do not imply to see America changing into a middling nation on this century. We imply for America to steer it.

RUWITCH: The invoice pours near $200 billion into science and expertise analysis and improvement by way of grants, scholarships and different channels. It additionally allocates $52 billion in emergency funding to spice up semiconductor manufacturing in America. Michael Santoro, a enterprise faculty professor at Santa Clara College, likes the fundamental analysis funding however says the cash for semiconductors is misguided. The U.S. already leads in chip design, and most cutting-edge microchips are manufactured in Taiwan and South Korea, each U.S. pals.

MICHAEL SANTORO: We’re zagging on the exact second the place we needs to be zigging. So what’s it that makes America sturdy? Not industrial coverage.

RUWITCH: He thinks China will in all probability see the invoice as ineffectual. It additionally will not change Beijing’s considering.

SANTORO: Why would you modify when your competitor, you already know, has instructed you that they are afraid of you they usually’re beginning to mimic your ways?

RUWITCH: The White Home put out an announcement saying President Biden applauded the passage of the invoice. Now it heads to the Home for consideration.

John Ruwitch, NPR Information.


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