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Peters Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Advances in Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) to strengthen federal efforts to expand domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2021, which Peters introduced with U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), would direct the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program – in collaboration with federal agencies and state economic development organizations – to develop strategies to attract investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturers and supply chains. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is also a lead cosponsor of the bill.

“The ongoing semiconductor shortage has caused major disruptions for Michigan’s manufacturers and automakers, and exposed an overreliance on foreign producers that threatens our economic and national security,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “This bill will shore up our domestic supply chains by boosting our semiconductor manufacturing capabilities and driving investments in American manufacturing. This is particularly critical for our economic competitiveness on the global stage, as others such as the Chinese government continue to invest in research and development of new technologies. I’m pleased that the bill advanced in the Senate, and I’ll continue working to ensure it’s passed into law.”

“Commerce Committee passage of the Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act today is great news and an important step toward fixing America’s chip shortage that has had negative impacts on families, businesses and our national security,” said Senator Scott. “As Communist China’s aggression grows in this industry, the United States must become more competitive on a global scale and I thank my colleagues for their support of this important bill.”

“Tennessee manufacturers rely on semiconductors to support local and global supply chains. The semiconductor shortages made it abundantly clear that we cannot continue to depend on Communist China for critical materials for manufacturing and producing American products,” said Senator Blackburn. “This legislation with Senator Peters will encourage economic development with local leaders to identify resource gaps and address challenges faced by Tennessee businesses in meeting their bottom line.”

“As global demands continue to grow and evolve across every phase of the semiconductor process, it is critical that we find innovative opportunities for public/private collaboration as we work to keep the future of this industry planted firmly in the U.S.,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are pleased to support Senator Peters and his colleagues in championing these efforts to strengthen national security and create transformational economic opportunities both here in Michigan and throughout the nation.”

“I applaud Senator Peters’ leadership in working across the aisle to advance his legislation that will boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and strengthen our supply chains,” said Governor Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council. “This critical bill will ensure the state and federal coordination needed to promote American manufacturing and increase economic opportunity for American autoworkers. We support this legislation and urge Congress to pass this bill swiftly so it can be signed into law.”

The SelectUSA program was established in 2011 to improve federal efforts that attract job-creating business investments in the United States and support U.S. firms. Peters’ bill comes amid a report issued in June by the Biden Administration, which emphasized that the SelectUSA program could be leveraged to strengthen private sector investments across the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain.

The Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2021 would direct the SelectUSA program to engage with state-level economic development organizations about how they are attracting foreign direct investment to onshore activities related to semiconductor manufacturing, and identify what resource gaps or other challenges they face in achieving that goal. SelectUSA would then be required to develop strategies to increase investments in semiconductor manufacturing.

Peters has repeatedly pressed for action to address the semiconductor shortage crisis. Peters, who serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, secured multiple provisions in the competitiveness package that passed the Senate this year to address the semiconductor shortage – particularly for the future. Peters worked closely with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) on provisions to create a $2 billion supplemental incentive fund to support the domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies in the coming years and will ensure that semiconductor projects that support critical manufacturing industries are given priority status, which would include the automotive sector. This is in addition to $50 billion already in the bill to incentivize the production of semiconductors of all kinds in the U.S.—for a total of $52 billion.

As the authors of the $2 billion supplemental incentive fund provision, Peters and Stabenow recently urged Congressional leadership to ensure their provision is included in the final competitiveness package. Peters also led a letter to the Taiwanese government urging it to increase chip production and do everything possible to mitigate the ongoing chip shortage. Peters has raised this supply chain disruption repeatedly with numerous Biden Administration officials in conversations both before and after President Biden took office – including during a roundtable discussion with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Michigan last month.

In the Build Back Better Act, Peters is also working to establish an office within the Department of Commerce that would monitor supply chains and the U.S. industrial base, as well as take steps to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities.