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US Senate Approves Legislation to Boost Semiconductor Facilities Amid Chip Crisis

The US Senate has given the green light to legislation aimed at expediting the construction of semiconductor facilities within the country, signaling a significant step in the efforts to revive the American chip industry. The bill, approved with a 94-3 vote, seeks to speed up the establishment of US chip facilities by exempting select projects from time-consuming environmental reviews.

The legislation’s environmental exemption will apply to specific projects that receive grants under the “CHIPS and Science” Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden last year. The Act allocates about $52 billion in government subsidies to support domestic microchip manufacturers and spur the construction of semiconductor manufacturing plants, also known as “fabs,” in the United States.

The bill’s overarching goal is to incentivize domestic chip production and enhance the nation’s self-reliance in the face of the ongoing global semiconductor shortage. The semiconductor crisis, affecting various industries, has raised national security concerns as the US heavily depends on imports of semiconductors from abroad, especially from Asia, with Taiwan being a major supplier. Taiwan currently leads in raw semiconductor manufacturing, producing over 60% of the world’s semiconductors, including 90% of the most advanced ones.

The lack of domestic chip production has prompted the White House to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in the establishment of new chip manufacturing facilities across America. Giants in the chip industry, such as Intel and Micron Technology, are also contributing to the efforts by building chip production plants in multiple states.

The recent legislation’s approval is considered a significant achievement by policymakers, with President Joe Biden hailing it as a top priority. The bill aims to lower prices on consumer goods, create jobs, and establish resilient American supply chains. However, experts acknowledge that there is still a long way to go in satisfying the nation’s chip needs at home and addressing the ongoing chip crisis.

The semiconductor shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the US’s dependency on chip imports, emphasizing the need to restore domestic semiconductor production to enhance national security. While the legislation holds promise, its effectiveness in reviving the chip industry will be closely monitored in the coming months and years, impacting various sectors and the nation’s overall economic stability.

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#UnitedStates #semiconductor #chips #Technology #Taiwan #China #techblockade #sanctions #pandemic #nationalsecurity

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