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Hickenlooper Cheers Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Help U.S. Compete with China, Fight Inflation

Jul 27, 2022

Chips and Science Act will boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing, spur American innovation

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper presided over the Senate’s vote to pass the Chips and Science Act, a bipartisan innovation and competition bill to help lower costs, grow the U.S. semiconductor industry, and boost investments in research & development. The bill will help the American economy maintain leadership over China in research, development, and emerging technologies while safeguarding our national security.

For video of Hickenlooper presiding over the final vote, CLICK HERE.

Hickenlooper helped write the bill as a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and as a member of the Conference Committee tasked with resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

“Semiconductors are the 21st century’s Space Race we must win,” said Hickenlooper. “Relying on foreign-made semiconductors makes us vulnerable to higher prices and potentially being cut off. This bill will reinvigorate American manufacturing, lower costs, and create more good-paying jobs.”

Semiconductors, which are used in everything from cell phones to cars, medical equipment and military hardware, are a key driver of inflation due to current shortages in supply from East Asia.

The bill includes $52 billion to boost domestic chip manufacturing. Despite being designed by American companies, two-thirds of semiconductors are made in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Ninety percent of the most sophisticated semiconductors are made by a single company in Taiwan.

Domestic  U.S. semiconductor manufacturing represents 12 percent of the global total, down from 37 percent in the 1990s. The shift in manufacturing is due largely to the Chinese government’s large investments to boost their domestic semiconductor industry, which this bill seeks to counteract.

The Chips and Science Act will next head to the House where it is expected to pass in the coming week.

As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Space and Science Subcommittee, Hickenlooper leads Congressional oversight of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), which will all help implement key aspects this bill.

Full text of the bill is available HERE.

Specifically, the bill will:

  • Authorize new investments in federal research and development
    • $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct standards and measurement research related to semiconductors and other emerging technologies in fields such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cybersecurity, and more. Boulder is home to one of two NIST campuses expected to benefit from this funding.
      • Within this total, $2.3 billion for Manufacturing Extension Partnership which supports small- and medium-sized manufacturers, helping them grow their manufacturing capabilities

    • $15 billion to upgrade infrastructure at our Department of Energy national labs like the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden.
  • $10 billion for the Department of Commerce to establish a Regional Tech Hubs Program to revitalize regional economies with workforce development training and technology research, development, and commercialization opportunities.
  • $81 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand its core research mission, build the future STEM workforce, expand research opportunities for minority serving institutions, emerging research institutions, and research in rural communities; and establish a new Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to accelerate research & development in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and 5G and 6G communications.
  • Provide $52 billion to grow domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity through incentives, applied research, and workforce development training to protect our supply chains and compete with China globally.
    • $39 billion for domestic semiconductor manufacturing
      • With provisions to ensure companies don’t build facilities in China or other countries of concern and that no federal dollars will be used for stock buybacks or dividend payments.
    • $11 billion for Research and Development to improve semiconductor manufacturing processes by developing strategies to enhance semiconductor packaging and assembly capabilities
    • $200 million for workforce development programs related to the semiconductor industry


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