Senate Advances Tech Bill To Compete With China

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The U.S. Senate last week passed a sweeping package of legislation aimed at enabling the country to compete with Chinese technology as Congress seeks a tougher stance on Beijing.

The Senate voted 68-30 to end debate on the $250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA), which is now nearing a final vote in the U.S. legislature.

Once passed by the Senate, the bill must also be approved by the House of Representatives before President Biden can enact it.

Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic majority leader and co-author of USICA, said that the U.S. spends less than 1% of its GDP on scientific research, which is less than half of what China does.

USICA approves about $190 billion in provisions to strengthen U.S. technology, with another $54 billion earmarked to boost production of semiconductors, microchips and telecommunications equipment.

The law also aims to change China’s growing global influence by working with allies and increasing U.S. involvement in international organizations, countering former U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.

As the bill moves toward legislation, the Senate also approved an amendment, supported by Republican Senator Mike Crapo and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, to retaliate against what it considers China’s anti-competitive trade practices and ban products made using forced labor.

For more information, read the original story in Reuters.

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