Main menu


Technology and World Politics Make Necessary Investments in CHIPS and Science Law | Column

featured image

STARKVILLE — Mississippi Republican Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith distorted conservatives on financial and social issues and were nearly aligned on the ballot, reflecting the views of conservative Mississippi constituencies. increase.

But when it came to CHIPS and scientific law issues, Wicker and Hydesmith found themselves on opposite sides of the law. Wicker voted for it. Hyde Smith voted against it.

A split vote for the U.S. Senate delegation in Mississippi united Wicker and Hydesmith as signatories a year earlier to call on President Joe Biden to increase U.S. semiconductor production in response to global computer chips. It’s all the more interesting given that he signed the bipartisan letter. Shortages after the COVID pandemic, war in Ukraine, and a tenuous global semiconductor supply chain.

The original bill under consideration in the US Senate was a measure that would provide $52 billion in subsidies/incentives to encourage chip makers to open US semiconductor production/fabrication plants. The bill, which passed the Senate, House and sent to Biden’s desk, calls for analysts to commit $280 billion to boost research and development in the U.S. domestic semiconductor industry and promote direct competition with China in those economies. It was a much larger and broader law that came into scope. sector.

Fleishmann Hilliard Senior Vice President Matthew Caldecutt wrote on August 1 in guiding communications professionals through more than 1,000 pages of complex legal debates. Manufacturing plants, or “fabs” – and secured approximately $50 billion for future investment semiconductor companies in the United States, with $39 billion for the construction, expansion, or modernization of domestic facilities, and $110 for research and development. Allocate billion dollars. In addition, he said the $2 billion will help fund other areas of the semiconductor industry, including education, defense and future innovation. ”

But that definition misses the full-scope mark of the CHIPS and Science Act – Congress approved about $81 billion for National Science Foundation research and another $11 billion for the U.S. Department of Commerce technology hub over five years. but in the end it’s not assigning. To the US National Institute of Standards and Technology he made $9 billion. Simply put, the NSF approval could be the largest increase in funding since his NSF inception in 1950.

Hydesmith’s immediate concerns about the bill’s deficit spending and its impact on the national debt are therefore justified. But what about his Wicker vote in favor of the CHIPS Act?Wicker’s valiant vote adopted a long-standing global strategic view that the United States should not depend on its enemies.

The Semiconductor Industry Association defines semiconductors as the brains of modern electronics, with applications in medical devices and healthcare, communications, computing, defense, transportation, clean energy, and artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced wireless, and more. enable future technological advances in the network.

The U.S. semiconductor industry remains a world leader with $258 billion in sales (2020) and more than 250,000 employees, but competition from Taiwan, China and South Korea is substantial and growth doing. Similar to post-World War II shipbuilding, the United States has seen a significant offshoring of semiconductor manufacturing, and the trend is growing exponentially.

The United States has the most powerful navy in the world, but a Pentagon report says the People’s Republic of China has the world’s largest navy, with an overall combat strength of about 350 ships and submarines. proving that there is In contrast, the U.S. Navy’s combat strength was about 293 ships as of early 2020.

In June, the Institute for Strategic and International Studies presented the following bipartisan assessment: Erosion of U.S. capabilities in microelectronics is therefore a direct threat to U.S. ability to defend the United States and its allies.

Additionally, the US private economy relies heavily on semiconductor-based platforms for day-to-day operations. Securing U.S. leadership in semiconductor technology and ensuring the integrity of the value chain that designs, manufactures, packages, and distributes these chips is perhaps the preeminent economic and national security concern of our time. .

i doubt it? The average new US car contains over 1,000 computer chips. Now think about military aircraft, ships, tanks, or NORAD surveillance. Technology and world politics have made the growth of high-end semiconductor manufacturing and research a matter of national security.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. contact him at