Biden signs semiconductor bill and NATO accession protocols: "Today is the day for builders"
Washington DC - US President Joe Biden signed a broad competition bill into law Tuesday that will direct $52.7 billion toward domestic semiconductor research and development as part of an effort to make the US less dependent on China and other Asian nations.
Industry CEOs who attended the signing ceremony at the White House announced roughly $50 billion in new investments, lending additional significance to the first of several victories the administration plans to celebrate this week. Micron Technology Inc. is leading the charge with a $40 billion investment in memory chip manufacturing, a move the White House said would create 40,000 new jobs.
Biden called the bill "a once in a generation investment in America itself" that comes during a moment of global upheaval and amid a still unsettled battle between the world's democracies and autocracies.
"We know there are those ... who seek division instead of strength and unity, who tear down rather than build up," Biden declared. "Today is the day for builders. Today America is delivering."
The CHIPS and Science Act, which first passed the Senate in June 2021 but lingered in the House for months, ultimately passed with bipartisan approval after lawmakers spent more than a year reconciling the two chambers' versions of the bill.
Despite the bill's slow legislative journey, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have long agreed on the importance of reinvigorating America's technology sector.
By signing the bill, Biden says "we are showing the world that America can get things done"
Only 10% of the world's semiconductors, which are crucial to automobile manufacturers, appliances, and even defense systems, are currently made in the US, with East Asia producing 75% of the world's supply.
The new law will provide $39 billion in manufacturing incentives for US companies and $10 billion in investments to boost regional economic development in technology hubs across the country.
"We are showing the world that America can get things done in a bipartisan way when it matters," said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. "This couldn't have come at a more urgent moment," she added. "Our over-reliance on foreign manufacturers is a real liability. But that's going to change."
Suddenly riding a wave of momentum after a long legislative lull, Biden later signed accession protocols that cleared the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
On Wednesday, he plans to sign the $280-billion PACT Act, which will provide healthcare and benefits for veterans injured by wartime exposure to toxins. Lawmakers are poised to deliver an even bigger Democratic victory if the House approves the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act, the package of climate investments and prescription drug reforms passed by the Senate on Sunday.
The legislative whirlwind and a successful counter-terrorism mission that killed the leader of Al-Qaeda offer Biden and Democrats the opportunity to show voters this fall that they have accomplished a great deal despite their narrow congressional majorities.
Biden's signing of the CHIPS and Science Act and accession protocols comes one day after the FBI raided former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, a matter the Biden administration, the FBI, nor the Department of Justice have publicly commented on.
Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS