06.08.21

Peters Helps Senate Pass Bipartisan Economic Competitiveness Bill with Michigan Wins

American Innovation and Competition Act Includes Key Provisions Peters Secured Strengthening Manufacturing & Expanding Domestic Semiconductor Production

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, helped the Senate pass sweeping legislation tonight to strengthen manufacturing and boost economic competitiveness on the global stage, including to lessen our dependence on countries like China. The bill – the American Innovation and Competition Act – includes a number of provisions from Peters, including efforts to improve coordination between the Department of Commerce and the private sector on manufacturing and additional funding to expand domestic production of mature semiconductor chips. The shortage of these semiconductors have resulted in massive supply chain disruptions and idled auto plants across the country – including in Michigan. 

“I have long believed that you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things. This bill takes a number of steps to ensure we can continue to lead in manufacturing through the 21st century – especially as new technologies come online. We know that our global competitors – including the Chinese government – are making significant investments in research and development, and we must ensure Michigan and the U.S. can continue to lead the way in manufacturing and innovation,” said Senator Peters. “I was also pleased to work with Senator Stabenow to secure funding for domestic mature semiconductor production. These technologies are going to be critical for the future, and – as this semiconductor shortage has shown – we must secure our supply chains by expanding production and manufacturing right here in the United States. I’ll continue working to ensure Michigan remains at the cutting-edge of advanced manufacturing.”  

The bill includes Peters’ bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to revive and elevate the National Manufacturing Advisory Council, which advises the federal government on manufacturing programs and policy. The Council advises the federal government on manufacturing programs and provides private sector guidance and insight to the federal government. The Council has met intermittently in recent years, and this bill would more formally establish the Council as a critical component in federal manufacturing policy and strategy. The package also authorizes increased funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which has been a priority for Peters. 

Peters also worked with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) to strengthen the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act – which was signed into law as part of the national defense bill – to ensure that federal incentives for domestic chip production benefit American manufacturing. The legislation: 

  • Establishes Incentives for Domestic Mature Semiconductor Production: Creates a $2 billion supplemental incentive program to support the domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies. This new fund will be in addition to the Commerce Department’s existing semiconductor manufacturing incentive programs, which were created as part of the most recent national defense bill.
  • Supports Manufacturers Most Reliant on Mature Semiconductors: Within the supplemental $2 billion incentive program for mature semiconductor technologies, the legislation will ensure that semiconductor projects that support critical manufacturing industries are given priority status, which would include the automotive sector – as well as other manufacturing industries that the Secretary of Commerce identifies based on their relevance to the national and economic security of the United States.
  • Prioritizes Manufacturers Critical to National Security & Economy: The legislation also strengthens already-enacted CHIPS Act incentive programs for domestic semiconductor manufacturing by adding explicit language that ensures federal funds are used to promote American economic and national security interests, address supply chain gaps, and support a broad range of domestic industries.
  • Protects American Workers: The legislation requires compliance with Davis-Bacon laws for construction projects supported by CHIPS Act programs, which requires paying workers the local prevailing wage on federally funded or assisted construction projects.

The competitiveness bill includes $50 billion to ramp up and incentivize the production of semiconductors of all kinds in the U.S.— for a total of $52 billion overall. In addition the bill invests in National Science Foundation efforts, including research and development of new technologies and innovations. It also invests in STEM education so we have a strong and diverse workforce in tech fields. The competitiveness bill also would make our supply chains more resilient by having the Department of Commerce work more closely with the private sector. This is critical given our supply chain challenges our country has experienced with the pandemic and PPE and now with the semiconductor shortage. 

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