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The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released the following statement from President and CEO John Neuffer calling for House passage of the National Science Foundation for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) and the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act (H.R. 3593), two pieces of bipartisan legislation that seek to maintain and build on U.S. science and technology leadership – including in semiconductors – by authorizing science and technology initiatives at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. The bills, co-sponsored by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), will be considered by the full House of Representatives on the suspension calendar today. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.
“This bipartisan legislation will help ensure the U.S. remains the global research and innovation leader, which will strengthen America’s economy, national security, and global competitiveness. The research initiatives authorized by this legislation will generate advances in a range of scientific fields and build the pipeline of talent needed to enhance U.S. technology competitiveness. The U.S. semiconductor industry relies on these advances as the foundation for creating the technologies of the future.
“We call on all House members to support these important bills and we thank the sponsors for their bipartisanship and leadership in promoting American innovation and competitiveness. As the legislation advances, we urge Congress to include $52 billion to fund the critical semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing initiatives in the CHIPS for America Act. As the governments of competing countries ramp up investments in semiconductors, it’s time for leaders in Washington to help sharpen America’s edge in semiconductor technology by investing in domestic chip production and innovation.”
On June 8, in a strong bipartisan vote, the Senate passed legislation called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) (S.1260) that includes $52 billion to fund the semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research provisions in the CHIPS for America Act. SIA has urged Congress to send to the president legislation to promote U.S. technology and economic leadership.
The semiconductor industry is highly research-intensive. U.S. semiconductor companies invest nearly one-fifth of revenue into research and development, among the highest of any industry sector. But 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. Increased investments in research, including semiconductor research, is vital to maintaining our country’s technological edge.
In addition, 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.”