Here’s what’s in the massive U.S. Senate bill funding tech war with China

Radical legislation that would start unlocking an estimated $ 250 billion ($ 321 billion) in federal funding that would encourage U.S. technological competition with China is expected to easily wipe out the Senate as early as Tuesday, Reuters reports. Here is what it contains.

the Innovation and Competition Law of 2021 (ICA 2021) allowed a procedural vote in May by a wide 68-30 margin, and the final version of the bill is expected to have an equally relaxed run in the Senate. As Barron reported, the massive bill is an “amalgamation of hundreds of China-related proposals” that have circulated in Congress in recent years and reflects a consensus between the two political parties in which US-China relations are “growing. considered through a prism of competition and national security. “

At the heart of the bill is the Endless Frontier Act, originally proposed in the form of US $ 100 billion ($ 128 billion) in funding to the National Science Foundation for research in areas such as the quantum computing. As Vox explained, the Senate instead turned it into a gargantuan package squirting money all over the place, with hundreds of amendments added (some to the detriment of science funding in the original proposal).

On the funding on the table, Barron’s wrote that only US $ 54 billion ($ 69 billion) should be allocated in the process – mainly to subsidize the creation of more semiconductor factories in the United States, which matters. currently much of its factories supply in Taiwan. The remainder of the funds will depend on Congress approval for their distribution in future spending bills. For example, provisions of the bill outline the financing for a variety of technical and scientific efforts, including $ 81 billion ($ 104) for the National Science Foundation from 2022 to 2026, approximately $ 16.9 billion ($ 22) to the Department of Energy over this period for research on supply chains in the technology sector, and $ 10 billion (USD 13) for the Ministry of Commerce to create regional technology hubs across the country.

ICA 2021 would provide US $ 10 billion in additional funding to NASA’s manned space flight exploration program, and allow the International Space Station to continue operations until 2020. Generation 5G wireless technology is also on the way. described in the legislation.

The ICA 2021 is also doing everything it can to portray the United States as being tough on China. The bill’s provisions would bar U.S. diplomats from attending the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. According to CNN, the legislation directs the US Secretary of State to create lists of all state-owned enterprises in China suspected of committing industrial espionage or forced technology transfers, and encourages the White House to impose sanctions on individuals or entities suspected of stealing or profiting against the theft of US intellectual property and / or involvement in cyber attacks against US assets. Other parts of the bill “create an interagency task force to combat manipulation of the Chinese market in the United States and authorize spending to support independent media in China,” CNN wrote. Increased requirements for federal infrastructure materials to rely on iron, steel, manufactures and building materials made in the United States – rather than importing cheaper materials from abroad – are also part of the bill.

Donald Trump’s administration has hit a hard line with China, launching a tit-for-tat trade war and targeting its tech industry for particular pain – under Trump’s tenure, Chinese tech companies like telecoms giant Huawei have been accused of spying and sanctions aimed at cutting them off access to American technology.

Joe Biden’s White House followed a similar direction, straddling a wave of bipartisan mistrust on the growing influence of the Chinese tech sector. A recent executive order banned American investors from having financial interests in 59 different Chinese companies, including Huawei, supposedly linked to defense, surveillance or human rights violations such as concentration camps for Muslims Uyghurs in the Xinjian region. In addition to semiconductors, the Biden administration has proposed a dramatic expansion in US production of lithium batteries and mining of rare earth minerals, industries that also rely heavily on the Chinese supply chain. China has responded to American pressure with its own retaliatory measures.

Currently, the bill has yet to be passed by the House of Representatives, although no timetable has yet been set for the legislation and it may end up being significantly different from the version in the House of Representatives. Senate. Biden is expected to sign him quickly if and when the legislation reaches his office. Barron’s reported that “some analysts” expect the 2021 ICA to be enacted when Congress adjourns for August.

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