It's called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, and its purpose is to counter China's growing technological might and curb the nation's ambitions. The Senate, in a rare show of bipartisanship, passed the bill which allocates $250 billion to the goal of bolstering U.S. competiveness with its chief rival.
The bill was the final product of at least six Senate committees and almost all members of the chamber. The way infrastructure talks are going (or went, rather) should convince investors and non-investors alike that this legislation is likely the last major bipartisan bills of 2021--or beyond.
The president heralded the bill’s passage, saying, "As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind.”
The bill provides $52 billion to fund the semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing initiatives, among its many provisions. The bill also includes an overhaul of the National Science Foundation, more research funding, and subisides for companies focused on making chips and robots and all things high-tech. Access to critical rare earth minerals through rerouting supply chains so as not to be so dependent on China, are also in the cards.
The largest part of the multi-pronged and sweeping U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is a proposal, written by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. previously known as “Endless Frontier."
“Passing this bill— now called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act—is the moment when the Senate lays the foundation for another century of American leadership,” Schumer said from the Senate floor last night.