U.S. Senate approves more than $200 billion in aid to tech companies

The U.S. Senate approved the allocation of more than $200 billion to help U.S. technology companies to compete with China amid a global shortage of microchips over the next five years. It was reported Tuesday, June 8, on the website of the White House.

The funding will go toward developing artificial intelligence, semiconductors, robotics and high-performance computing.

“This legislation addresses key elements that are included in my job creation plan. <...> By strengthening our innovation infrastructure, we can lay the foundation for the next generation of American jobs and American leadership in manufacturing and technology,” said U.S. President Joe Biden.

According to the law, $120 billion of the total is earmarked for science and technology in the U.S., with about $53 billion for semiconductor chip manufacturing and research.

According to the Associated Press, 68 senators supported the “U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021,” which aims to support U.S. manufacturers of microchips and research, 32 voted against.

Passage of legislation aimed at improving the country’s competitiveness in relation to Chinese technology reflects the desire of Congress to take a tough stance on Beijing, the publication said.

According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, “the federal government should invest in science, basic research and innovation as the United States did decades after World War II.” He is confident that “only then will American workers and companies continue to lead the world.”

At the same time, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “passing this legislation cannot be the Senate’s final word on our competition with China.” The bill was incomplete because it did not include more Republican-sponsored amendments, McConnell added. Nevertheless, the politician supported the initiative.

The bill must be approved by the House of Representatives, after which the document will be submitted to the U.S. president for signature.

Earlier on June 7, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. does not want to have an arms race with China, noting the tough competition between the two countries. Blinken also said that the relationship with China was the most complicated and the most important relationship the country had.

The National Interest reported on June 1 that the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden was timely because the two sides are on the verge of a nuclear arms race. According to the authors, even an unintended conflict can become an occasion for a nuclear war. The situation involves Russia, the United States and China.

The authors of the article point out that anything that may undermine strategic stability, and this does not only refer to the deployed offensive nuclear weapons, should be discussed with Russia and China.

It adds that Russia, unlike China, should be of more concern to the United States because of the level of its nuclear arsenal.