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The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released the following statement from President and CEO John Neuffer commending the bipartisan Senate vote that clears the way for consideration on the Senate floor of the Endless Frontier Act (S.1260), bipartisan legislation that seeks to sustain and strengthen U.S. science and technology leadership by authorizing more than $100 billion for science and technology initiatives, including semiconductor research. The procedural vote to invoke cloture was approved by an impressive vote of 86-11. The Endless Frontier Act was introduced last month by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors.
“America’s economic strength, national security, and global competitiveness depend heavily on its ability to lead the world in semiconductors and the many technologies they enable. Today’s truly impressive bipartisan vote shows a driving commitment in Congress to boost U.S. competitiveness by moving the Endless Frontier Act one significant step closer to enactment.
“As the bill moves to the Senate floor, we strongly urge leaders in Congress to include needed funding for the domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research provisions in the CHIPS for America Act, legislation championed by Sens. Cornyn, Warner, Schumer, Cotton, and a bipartisan group of other congressional leaders. Doing so would turbocharge U.S. chip production and innovation and help keep America at its competitive best for years to come.”
The share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, according to a report by SIA and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). This decline is largely due to substantial subsidies offered by the governments of our global competitors, placing the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage in attracting new construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, or “fabs.” Additionally, federal investment in semiconductor research has been flat as a share of GDP, while other governments have invested substantially in research initiatives to strengthen their own semiconductor capabilities. And global semiconductor supply chain vulnerabilities have emerged in recent years that must be addressed through government investments in chip manufacturing and research, according to a separate SIA-BCG study.
Recognizing the critical role semiconductors play in America’s future, Congress in January enacted the CHIPS for America Act as part of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The law calls for incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and investments in chip research, but funding must be provided to make these provisions a reality.