Washington: The US Senate approved more than $200 billion in funds to help technology companies take on the competition from China in an intensifying showdown between the two world powers amid a global shortage of microchips.
The Senate voted ount 68 to 32 in favor of the “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” (USICA), aimed at supporting US chipmakers and science research. It is one of the few bills being negotiated in so-called bipartisan spirit, with both Democrats and Republicans supporting it.
More than $200 billion are committed under the bill, with nearly $120 billion for US science and technology development and some $53 billion for semiconductor chip production and research, among others.
The bill was approved against the backdrop of a growing US-China tussle for global technology dominance and a crippling shortage of semiconductors that has clobbered American automakers, home appliance manufacturers and phone producers.
The Democrat-majority US House of Representatives is working on its own version of a bill to boost US tech competition against China. Any differences between the two bills would have to be negotiated before both chambers pass a final act to send it to President Biden for his signature.