04.07.22

Peters Selected to Negotiate Final Economic Competitiveness Bill

On Conference Committee, Peters Will Be Tasked With Merging House and Senate-Passed Economic Competitiveness Bills; House and Senate-Passed Economic Competitiveness Bills Include Key Provisions Peters Secured to Strengthen Manufacturing & Expand Domestic Semiconductor Production

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, was appointed today to serve among select members of both the Senate and House to negotiate a final economic competitiveness bill that can be enacted into law. Peters will serve on the conference committee that will be tasked with working out differences between the House and Senate-passed economic competitiveness bills. Through this role, Peters will lead the charge in crafting a critical bill to strengthen manufacturing and boost economic competitiveness on the global stage, including to lessen our dependence on foreign competitors like the Chinese government. Once the conference committee completes its work, the final bill will be voted on by the full House and Senate before being sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“I have long believed that you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things. A strong economic competitiveness bill is key to ensuring that Michigan and the United States continue to lead in manufacturing through the 21st century and outcompete anyone on the global stage – including the Chinese government,” said Senator Peters. “I’m honored to serve on this key committee tasked with bolstering investments in domestic manufacturing and innovation. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner on this essential bill and will make it clear that we must expand production of semiconductor chips right here at home to secure our supply chains and be at the forefront of new technologies.”

Peters has repeatedly pressed for action to address the ongoing semiconductor shortage that has stymied automotive innovation in recent years, and impacted workers and industries across the country – including the Michigan auto industry. Last month, Peters convened a field hearing in Detroit to examine how Congress can help bolster U.S. innovation for electric and autonomous vehicles by increasing domestic production of semiconductor chips and other technologies, while also delivering economic, environmental, and safety benefits for the American people.

Peters secured multiple provisions in the competitiveness package that passed both the Senate and House to bolster U.S. semiconductor production, including a provision with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) to create a $2 billion supplemental incentive fund to support the domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies in the coming years and 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.

The competitiveness bill also includes Peters’ bipartisan Investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act, which would ensure that federal incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing include U.S. suppliers that produce the materials and manufacturing equipment that enable semiconductor manufacturing. In doing so, the legislation strengthens the supply chain for semiconductors and bolsters Michigan manufacturers. The package also authorizes increased funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which has been a priority for Peters. Congress must now work to finalize the competitiveness the bill, negotiating differences between the House and Senate-passed bills, which Peters will play a key role in as a member of the conference committee.

Additionally, Peters has raised this supply chain disruption 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. Peters has also introduced and advanced bipartisan legislation in the Senate to streamline federal efforts to strengthen and expand domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips, and bolster American semiconductor production and supply chains.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has also supported provisions to invest in a responsible federal use of artificial intelligence and provide new skills and opportunities for our federal workforce. Peters is working to help lock in America’s competitive advantage over the Chinese government in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence by leveraging American values, innovation and entrepreneurialism to advance this technology. To do so, Peters’ provision would allow the federal government to harness commercial breakthroughs to improve efficiency, better serve the American people and strengthen American economic competitiveness and national security, while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

The United States faces increasingly sophisticated cyber threats from foreign actors such as China and Russia, and we need a federal workforce that possesses the knowledge, skills, and competencies to counter those threats. To address this, Peters’ provisions would strengthen American competitiveness by investing in the future of the federal workforce – establishing a program to grow federal expertise and interagency coordination on cybersecurity to better meet emerging and mission-critical workforce needs and stay competitive on the global stage.

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