US Senate approves $52 billion chip bill in bid to reach compromise

© . Semiconductor chips can be seen on a computer circuit board in this image, taken on Feb. 25, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration By David Shepardson WASHINGTON () -The US Senate on Monday approved another bill to provide $52 billion in the US to provide subsidies for the production of semiconductor chips in an attempt to reach a compromise after months of discussions. The 68-28 procedural vote sends the legislation back to the House of Representatives in a cumbersome process to eventually launch a formal process known as a “conference” where lawmakers from both chambers will agree on a compromise version. An ongoing industry-wide shortage of chips has disrupted production in the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to scale back, and there are mounting calls to reduce other countries’ reliance on semiconductors. The Senate first approved chip legislation in June that also allowed $190 billion to bolster US technology and research to compete with China, while the House approved its version in early February. The accounts take different approaches to address US competitiveness with China on a wide range of topics, as well as trade and some climate provisions. Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell said the vote was crucial to “bringing us into real negotiations.” the world for decades to come. We look forward to the House of Representatives acting quickly to begin the formal conference process as well.” A senior Democratic aide to the House of Representatives said the chamber plans to return the measure to the Senate later this week. The Senate will have to vote again to launch the conference. A final deal may not be reached until summer. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the $52 billion in subsidies, calling it “corporate greed” and saying taxpayers should buy warrants or stocks. “The financial profits of these companies should be shared with the American people, not just wealthy shareholders,” Sanders said. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo noted that the United States two decades ago, they produced nearly 40% of all chips, while now they produce only 12% of the global take care of production. The Senate vote moved the United States “one step closer to revitalizing U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, securing our critical supply chains and bringing home high-quality manufacturing jobs.” On Friday, General Motors (NYSE:) said it would halt production at a pickup truck plant in Indiana for two weeks in April due to a shortage of chips.

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