By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
UPDATE The Senate passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would provide $52 billion in subsidies to domestic semiconductor manufacturers and invest billions in science and technology innovation. The measure is a bid to strengthen the United States’ competitiveness and self-reliance in what is seen as a keystone industry for economic and national security.
In a 64-33 vote, the Senate passed the $280 billion “CHIPS and Science Act,” a slimmed-down final iteration of a bill that was years in the making, notes The Washington Post. About $52 billion would go to microchip manufacturers to incentivize construction of domestic semiconductor fabrication plants — or “fabs” — to make the chips, which are used in a variety of products, including cell phones, cars, medical equipment and military weapons. A shortage of semiconductor chips during the coronavirus pandemic has caused price hikes and supply-chain disruptions in several industries. Continue Reading