Biden hails 'once-in-a-generation investment' in US semiconductor bill

Legislation to boost semiconductor influence considered crucial to ensure competitiveness with China

President Joe Biden signs the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. AFP
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President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a multi-billion-dollar bipartisan bill aimed at boosting semiconductor production and research in an effort to make the US more competitive with China.

"The future of the chip industry is going to be made in America," Mr Biden said at a signing ceremony on the White House South Lawn.

"It means unleashing the next generation of American innovation. It means building more secure supply chains, and protecting American global leadership and values."

Mr Biden said he visited a Lockheed Martin facility where Javelin missiles were made and said the CHIPS and Science Act would make the US less reliant on other nations to provide the technology needed for those weapon systems.

“Unfortunately, we produce zero per cent of these advanced chips and China is trying to move way ahead of us to manufacture these sophisticated chips as well,” he said.

The White House sees the bill as crucial to countering China and ensure that the US maintains its competitiveness against Beijing. The legislation provides $52.7 billion for semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workplace development, the White House said.

The US supply chain backlog, explained

The US supply chain backlog, explained

"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself," Mr Biden said.

Before the ceremony, leading US chip manufacturer Micron announced a $40bn investment in memory chip manufacturing that would be used for computers and other electronics. Qualcomm and Global Foundries announced a new partnership that would include a $4.2bn investment at a facility in upstate New York.

Tuesday's signing ceremony was one of several scheduled since Mr Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday. Mr Biden appeared to be dealing with some residual symptoms, coughing heavily during his remarks.

The White House said Mr Biden tested negative for Covid-19 again on Tuesday morning.

Updated: August 09, 2022, 7:53 PM