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Legislation helps United States compete by investing in semiconductor manufacturing and supply chains and bolstering national security

Casey has advocated for PA semiconductor manufacturers across the Commonwealth to receive CHIPS funding

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the CHIPS and Science Act being signed into law by President Joe Biden:

“One year ago, Democrats enacted the CHIPS and Science Act to fulfill President Biden’s promise to make more in America. Because of this law, we stand to make more semiconductor chips that power our cars, computers, and smartphones right here at home,” Senator Casey said. CHIPS and Science is investing in American workers and their families by creating and sustaining jobs, shoring up our supply chains, protecting our national and economic security, and ensuring we can win in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

The CHIPS and Science Act includes a number of provisions that support U.S. manufacturing, boosts our economy, and strengthen national security vulnerabilities, including:

Investments in Semiconductors and Chip Manufacturing

The law includes $52 billion in investments and incentives for American semiconductor companies to conduct R&D and manufacture chips domestically in the United States. Part of this investment funds an incentive program to focus on legacy chip production to aid industries critical to the American economy, including the auto industry. Funding will also go to the implementation of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) and other R&D programs. The NSTC will serve as a hub for conducting advanced semiconductor research and prototyping, while the NAPMP will focus on the challenge of embedding fragile chips into small configurations that combine multiple systems. This will provide long-term benefits to American consumers including lower costs, increased functionality and improved energy efficiency. The legislation also provides funding to the Department of Defense to support semiconductor investments that are critical to U.S. national security.

Wireless Telecommunications

The CHIPS and Science Act also includes $2 billion to invest in the Open Radio Access Network (ORAN), helping U.S. wireless networks better compete against Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. ORAN would create an open wireless network that allows components from different manufacturers to operate on the same network. Investing in ORAN is beneficial to U.S. national security, as the intelligence community has warned that Huawei and ZTE pose significant national security threats, including leaving U.S. companies vulnerable to Chinese surveillance and cyberattacks.

Research and Innovation

Investing in scientific R&D is critical to economic development, public health and national security. As much as 85 percent of U.S. productivity growth in the first half of the 20th century resulted from technological advances. However, U.S. federal government R&D, measured as a percentage of GDP, is near its lowest point in over 60 years. The CHIPS and Science Act invests in R&D and scientific research to spur innovation within specific sectors and in communities across the country. The National Science Foundation is receiving $36 billion in additional investments, including funding for STEM education efforts. The bill also invests in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including funding for Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which supports small- and medium-sized manufacturers.  In an effort to diversify the types of communities that are on the frontier of America’s innovation economy, the bill calls for the designation of at least 20 regional technology and innovation hubs throughout the country.

The Commonwealth stands to compete for these designations as well as funding through a new program to support growth in persistently distressed communities. Additionally, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science will receive funding for additional research into sustainable transportation, advanced manufacturing, industrial decarbonization, advanced materials, renewable energy, and more. The inclusion of Senator Casey’s SUPER Act enables DOE to develop strategies that reduce emissions in steel manufacturing and advances the competitiveness of the American steel industry. The SUPER Act establishes the first crosscutting R&D program dedicated to low-emission steel manufacturing, including efforts to apply R&D on new production methods and public-private partnerships and to commercialize and promote new low-emissions technologies. It also directs DOE to develop a 5-year strategic plan to support research, development and demonstration activities to make technological advancements.