The U.S. Senate passed a piece of legislation that allocated more than $250 billion to help maintain a competitive advantage over China in fields ranging from artificial intelligence, quantum computing to semiconductors.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 68 to 32 on Tuesday, emphasizing broad bipartisan support for action in Congress Beijing counterThe “Innovation and Competition Act” of the United States integrates various measures related to China into the largest industrial policy legislation in decades.
The legislation provides $52 billion to support semiconductor The industry is increasingly worried that the United States is overly dependent on countries such as Taiwan while working hard to build the semiconductor industry in China.
Part of the bill, called the “Endless Frontier Act,” provides approximately US$120 billion in investment in technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. China has made it a part of its high-end technology industry policy.
In addition to providing huge investments in technology, the 1,445-page bill also includes a series of measures to restrict China.One is to prohibit government agencies from buying drones made by Chinese companies, including Dajiang, The world’s largest manufacturer of commercial drones.
The legislation will also prohibit federal employees from downloading the popular short video app TikTok onto electronic government devices.
The bill will require the State Council and the intelligence community to submit a report to Congress on China’s influence in international institutions (including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, and World Trade Organization).
China is the only issue in Congress that has achieved bipartisan consensus, and legislators agreed that it is necessary to take a tougher stand. From the suppression of Uighurs to military activities in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, politicians have proposed hundreds of bills to punish China. But U.S. officials are increasingly aware that technology is playing an increasing role in the competition between the two countries.
Kurt Campbell, a senior White House official in charge of Indo-Pacific policy, said on Tuesday that as part of a broad strategy to deal with China, the bill is a key part of Washington’s efforts to improve its competitiveness.
He said that the “Endless Frontier Act” is “strive to show that new barriers to competition will define the leadership of the United States, increasingly appearing in the field of technology, and we are determined to take measures to speed up the pace.”
Efforts to increase investment in technology are a warning that China is catching up quickly, and in some cases has surpassed the United States in technology that is increasingly important for military use.
The National Artificial Intelligence Commission warned in March that China may surpass the United States to become the world’s artificial intelligence superpower within ten years. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee, said that because the United States is overly dependent on Taiwan, the United States is “close to losing” its leading edge in the field of microelectronics.
The House of Representatives is expected to start debating its China bill next week. Although the Senate bill passed easily, it is expected that the House of Representatives will have a major debate on how the two houses will combine their respective legislation into a plan that will gain sufficient support throughout Congress and be signed into law by President Joe Biden.