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Senator Gary Peters looks to strengthen U.S. automotive innovation

U.S. Senator Gary Peters, D-Michigan convened a field hearing Monday, March 28 entitled: 'Made in America: The Future of Automotive Innovation and Semiconductor Chips.'

The meeting was held at the Detroit Regional Chamber where witnesses examined how Congress could support the domestic production of semiconductor chips and other technologies.

The support from Congress could boost innovation for electric and automatic cars while also delivering economic, environmental, and safety benefits for Americans, according to Peters.

Peters secured multiple provisions in the U.S. competitive package that includes Peters' bipartisan investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act.

During the field hearing Peters mentioned the part that Michigan has played within the American automobile industry and how America relies on foreign suppliers who are unstable.

"Michigan established the American auto industry, transforming mobility in society and quite frankly built the American middle-class and will continue leading for many years in the future." said Sen. Peters.

The hearing included witness testimony from:

  • Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MICHauto
  • Jay Rathert, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, KLA
  • Steve Dawes, Director, UAW Region1D
  • Garrick Francis, Vice President of Federal Affairs, Auto Innovators

Executive Director, Glenn Stevens, and Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships KLA both mentioned Michigan's role in the automobile industry during their witness testimonies.

"United States, and particularly Michigan remains at the forefront of automobility innovation and production," said Stevens.

Stevens later mentioned Michigan represents 18% of all United States vehicle production.

Michigan also produced 2.1 million vehicles in 2017, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The field hearing comes after repeated attempts from Sen. Peters to address the ongoing semiconductor shortage, in recent years.

Watch here: U.S. Senator Gary Peters Chairs Commerce Committee hearing

Peters requested that Senators and others may submit questions by April 11 and witness responses by April 25.