Biden signs on $52.7 bln microchip investment bill to 'counter China'
Chip shortage in the US has cost its economy and has resulted in shortages... and falling behind in its 'power' competition with China.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a landmark bill - the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 - which will allocate $52.7 billion to subsidize semiconductor production and research in a bid to boost incentives to make the US more competitive with China's science and technology efforts.
"The future is going to be made in America," Biden said, calling the measure "a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself."
Republicans, as well as Democrats, joined Biden on the White House lawn as the US President signed the chips bill that was distilled years in Congress before getting approval.
Attending the signing were the chief executives of Micron, Intel, Lockheed Martin, HP and Advanced Micro Devices. Furthermore, the governors of Pennsylvania and Illinois, in addition to the mayors of Detroit, Cleveland and Salt Lake City, and lawmakers were at the event.
Read more: Intel invests in EU, fuels chips race with Asia
The White House's bill passage was creating new chip investments: On Monday, Qualcomm agreed to buy $4.2 billion in semiconductor chips from GlobalFoundries' factory in New York, which totals $7.4 billion in purchases through 2028.
Micron, according to the White House, announced a $40 billion investment in manufacturing memory chips, potentially boosting market share from 2% to 10%. This investment was planned with "anticipated grants" from the chip bill, according to Biden.
The shortage has been affecting everything from cars, weapons, and washing machines to video games: Thousands of cars and trucks remain parked in southeast Michigan awaiting chips.
The bill, furthermore, includes a 25% investment tax credit for chip plants, worth around $24 billion.
This legislation will allow $200 billion over a decade to boost technology research that will compete with Beijing - however, Congress will need to pass separate appropriations legislation to fund those investments.
Read next: Largest Chinese chipmaker to up capacity following record revenue
The Chinese Embassy in Washington said Beijing "firmly opposed" the bill as it strikes as a "Cold War mentality."
The US needs chips for key weapons, like the Javelin missiles: "It's no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied US business against this bill," Biden said.
Microchip shortage causes $240 billion loss for US economy in 2021
According to analysts earlier this year, a shortage of microchips in manufacturing processes in the US cost the US economy $240 billion last year, with electronics companies bearing the brunt of the impact.
According to CBS, disruptions were caused by the closure of key chip production sites in Asia owing to the epidemic.
The CEO of the Optimal Design company, Sajid Patel, told CBS that in some instances, production had to be scaled back because chips were unavailable, adding that "I think it's important for us to make this product in the United States. We're not making enough of it now. We have to make more of it. And the only way that you do that is to have more plants. And so this is the investment, frankly, in the future. It's not that far off."
The microchip scarcity has also hampered automobile production. Instead of driving immediately to the showroom, Ford vehicles were transported to parking lots from the assembly line where they waited for chips.
As a result, Ford lost $210 billion. The scarcity is predicted to worsen in the near future, but domestic chip manufacturing is expected to increase, with Intel announcing the development of a chip facility in the state of Ohio.