More than 140 US lawmakers call for quick action on chip funding

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WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of more than 140 U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged congressional leaders to approve $52 billion in government subsidies for semiconductor chip production and research.

On Feb. 4, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to boost U.S. competitiveness with China by allocating $52 billion to boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

The funding “will help prevent future shortages that result in lower GDP, lost jobs, more expensive consumer goods and national security vulnerabilities,” says a letter signed by lawmakers, including Rep. Doris. Matsui and Senator Mark Warner, both Democrats, and Republican Representative Michael. McCaul and Senator John Cornyn.

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Lawmakers urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “immediately begin negotiations to allow votes in the House and the Senate as soon as possible”.

President Joe Biden is expected to host a semiconductor chip event on Wednesday to meet with business leaders and again push for a quick pass.

Last month, 22 governors also called for swift action on chip funding.

A continuing industry-wide chip shortage has disrupted production in the automotive and electronics sectors, forcing some companies to cut production.

The Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass its own bill in June, which includes $52 billion for chips and authorizes $190 billion for American technology and research to compete with China.

The funding includes $2 billion to encourage the production of “mature node” semiconductors used by the automotive industry and in medical devices, agricultural machinery and some national defense applications.

There are key differences on the China-related provisions in the two bills.

The House bill includes a number of trade provisions and would impose additional sanctions on China for its treatment of Uyghurs and offer refugee status to eligible Hong Kongers.

The House measure reauthorizes and revises trade adjustment assistance programs, which help workers whose jobs or wages are affected by imports, and reforms the Generalized System of Preferences, a preferential tariff system for imports.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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