Senate Passes Peters’ Bipartisan Bill To Strengthen Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate has passed bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) which would strengthen federal efforts to expand domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act, which Peters led with U.S. Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), 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 passed amid the global shortage of semiconductor technologies that has caused major disruptions for a wide range of industries including manufacturers and automakers in Michigan. The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives.

“The ongoing semiconductor chip shortage has caused major disruptions for Michigan’s manufacturers and automakers and further 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. “By boosting our semiconductor manufacturing capabilities and driving investments in American manufacturing, this legislation will bolster our domestic supply chains and strengthen our global economic competitiveness. I was proud to author this bipartisan bill and see it passed in the Senate – and I urge my colleagues in the House to take swift action to get it signed into law as soon as possible.”

“The recent global chip shortage put American medical equipment, computer, and car supply chains on hold,” said Senator Blackburn. “The passage of the Securing Semiconductor Supply Chain Act in the Senate gets us one step closer to making existing resources available to producers of semiconductor equipment. This work is essential to decreasing our reliance on companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, restoring global supply chains, and boosting manufacturers in Oak Ridge and Nashville, Tennessee.” 

“It’s more important than ever that we bolster the United States’ ability to be self-sufficient in our domestic semiconductor supply chain,” said Senator Scott. “Our good bill will address the crippling shortage facing our businesses and help our nation’s economy remain competitive on a global scale to fight against Communist China’s growing influence. I’m proud to see this critical legislation pass the Senate and urge its quick passage in the House.” 

“While the global competition across the semiconductor industry remains fierce, we are laser-focused on adopting innovative solutions to ensure that the future jobs and investments of this vital sector are made right here in the U.S.A.,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC). “We are grateful for the advocacy of Senator Peters and his colleagues in the Senate who are helping to put the world on notice that the United States – and specifically, Michigan – remain home for all aspects of the semiconductor industry and beyond.”

“Thank you to Senator Peters for his leadership in passing legislation that will grow domestic semiconductor manufacturing and strengthen our supply chains,” said Governor Matt Blunt, President of the American Automotive Policy Council. “This legislation is critical to auto manufacturers, and promotes economic growth in the U.S. auto sector.”

The SelectUSA program was established by President Obama 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 last year 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 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 ongoing semiconductor shortage crisis that has stymied automotive innovation in recent years, and impacted workers and industries across the country – including the Michigan auto industry. In March, 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 Actwhich 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.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters was selected to serve on the conference committee tasked with finalizing the competitiveness bill by negotiating differences between the House and Senate-passed bills. At the first meeting of the conference committee, Peters underscored the need to fully fund the CHIPS Act to boost semiconductor production, create good-paying American jobs, and address ongoing supply chain challenges. Peters has additionally 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.