U.S. Senate Passes $250 Billion Industrial Bill Aimed At Countering China

The U.S. Senate has passed a new industrial bill aimed at helping America remain competitive with China.

The bill, which passed the Senate in a 68-32 vote, commits $250 billion U.S. in funding for scientific research, subsidies for chipmakers and robot makers, and an overhaul of the National Science Foundation.

The scope of the bill reflects the many fronts in the U.S.-China technology rivalry. It also represents one of the last bipartisan initiatives of 2021, proof that U.S. lawmakers are broadly in favor of legislation that works to counter Beijing’s growing economic and military expansion.

The largest part of the "U.S. Innovation and Competition Act" is a proposal previously known as "Endless Frontier," which overhauls the National Science Foundation and dedicates tens of billions of dollars for the NSF. It also establishes a Directorate for Technology and Innovation.

Additionally, the bill funds a grant program managed by the U.S. Commerce Department that would match financial incentives offered by states and local governments to chipmakers who improve upon or build new factories.

Specifically, the bill provides $52 billion U.S. to fund semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing initiatives.

The bill’s success in the Senate comes as the White House ramps up its own recommendations on how to secure American supply chains that run through China and counteract Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions.

The White House recently announced that it will expand restrictions on American investments in certain Chinese companies with alleged ties to the country’s military, adding more firms to a growing American blacklist.