05.12.22

VIDEO: Peters Underscores Need to Fully Fund CHIPS Act to Boost Semiconductor Production, Create Jobs, Address Supply Chain Challenges at First Meeting of Conference Committee on U.S. Economic Competitiveness Legislation

Peters Serving on Bipartisan, Bicameral Conference Committee to Negotiate Final Legislation Aimed at Bolstering American Innovation, Manufacturing, and Global Competitiveness

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today participated in the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee meeting to finalize the U.S. economic competitiveness legislation that passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This legislative package would make significant investments to create good-paying jobs, strengthen domestic manufacturing and boost U.S. economic competitiveness on the global stage – lessening our dependence on foreign nations for critical goods and products including semiconductor chips. Last month, Peters, who is Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, was selected to help negotiate the final package.

“I believe that you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things,” said Senator Peters. “A strong economic competitiveness bill is key to ensuring that we can create jobs, outcompete anyone on the global stage – including the Chinese government – and continue to lead in manufacturing in my home state of Michigan and the United States.”

“The auto industry is a prime example – where we have seen how our dependence on foreign manufacturers for semiconductor chips has significantly hindered American auto production,” Peters continued. “We must boost domestic chip production to support our national needs by funding the CHIPS Act at $52 billion. We must also maintain $2 billion in funding – which Senator Stabenow and I fought for – that would be dedicated to so-called “mature” chips that are essential to a wide range of manufacturers, including in the defense and auto industries… I’m honored to serve on the conference committee, and look forward to working together to get this signed into law.”

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To watch video of Peters’ remarks, click here.

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. 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.

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. 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. Peters led a letter to the Taiwanese government urging it to increase chip production and do everything possible to mitigate the ongoing chip shortage. Peters’ bipartisan legislation to revive and elevate the National Manufacturing Advisory Council – which advises the federal government on manufacturing programs and policy – is also in the legislation. 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.

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 global competitive advantage in rapidly evolving technologies like artificial intelligence. His provision would allow the federal government to adopt new innovations to improve government efficiency, better serve the American people and strengthen American economic competitiveness and national security, while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Below is the text of Senator Peters’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“I believe that you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things.

“A strong economic competitiveness bill is key to ensuring that we can create jobs, outcompete anyone on the global stage – including the Chinese government – and continue to lead in manufacturing in my home state of Michigan and the United States.

“The auto industry is a prime example – where we have seen how our dependence on foreign manufacturers for semiconductor chips has significantly hindered American auto production.

“Workers have been temporarily laid off – families have struggled to get by – and small manufacturers up and down the supply chain have been plunged into chaos.

“We must boost domestic chip production to support our national needs by funding the CHIPS Act at $52 billion.

“We must also maintain $2 billion in funding – which Senator Stabenow and I fought for – that would be dedicated to so-called “mature” chips that are essential to a wide range of manufacturers, including in the defense and auto industries.

“We also need to make our semiconductor supply chains more resilient. I have proposed bipartisan legislation, which was included in the House’s bill, to clarify that CHIPS Act incentives can be used to bolster domestic production of the materials and manufacturing equipment necessary to make chips. 

“Without these essential inputs, we cannot grow domestic chip manufacturing.

“Finally, this bill is an important opportunity to secure our position as a world leader in advanced research and development – cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence – and other innovations that strengthen our economic competitiveness and create good-paying jobs.

“I’m honored to serve on the conference committee and look forward to working together to get this signed into law.”

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