US Senate to vote on simplified Chinese chip bill on Tuesday – source

Semiconductor chips are seen on a computer circuit board in this illustrative photo taken February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

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WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – Senate voting on a bill to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and improve competitiveness with China could begin as early as Tuesday, the Senate Majority Leader said. , Chuck Schumer, to lawmakers, said a source familiar with the matter. Thursday.

The source said the bill would include, at a minimum, billions of dollars in subsidies for the semiconductor industry and an investment tax credit to boost manufacturing in the United States.

Lawmakers hope to pass the legislation and send it to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign into law before leaving Washington for their annual August recess.

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The planned legislation would be a slimmed-down version of a bill passed by the Senate in June 2021 that provided $52 billion for chip subsidies and authorized an additional $200 billion to spur U.S. science and technology innovation to compete. China.

But this bill never became law. The House of Representatives never took it up, instead passing its own version in February, similar to the Senate measure, but also including a number of trade proposals.

The overall plan — a priority for the Biden administration — recently encountered a new hurdle in the Senate, where it will need Republican support to move forward.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that if Democrats pursue a separate partisan social spending, tax and climate bill, it would “certainly crowd out our ability” to advance bipartisan chips and measure. competition in China. Read more

Supporters of the bill said its passage was essential for national security. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a statement urging Congress to act. “The weapons systems used on the battlefields of today and the emerging technologies of tomorrow depend on our access to a stable and secure supply of microelectronics,” he said.

Comments on Schumer’s plans were consistent with what Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters on Wednesday. Read more She said lawmakers appear to want to remove the $52 billion in semiconductor chip manufacturing subsidies from the larger bill.

A chip shortage has disrupted the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to cut production. Many companies believe the shortage will last at least until the end of 2023.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Richard Cowan and David Shepardson; additional reporting by Mike Stone; written by Patricia Zengerle; edited by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler

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