US chip production
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. praises the bipartisan effort to pass a bill designed to encourage more semiconductor companies to build chip plants in the United States. Image by J. Scott Applewhite for the Assocated Press

Late last week, a bipartisan majority in the House approved a $280 billion piece of legislation meant to revive American production of semiconductor chips, a scarcity that has tormented US automakers. The legislation includes around $52.7 billion dollars in subsidies over five years to help increase US chip production. It is a scaled-down version of earlier legislation intended to increase American competitiveness between China and other Asian markets.

About $2 billion of the $52.7 billion is for automotive semiconductor chips specifically. The House passed the bill 243-187, including 24 Republicans. All of Michigan’s seven Democratic members in the US House delegation also voted for the bill understanding the need for domestic vehicle parts.

Ford Motor Company’s Chief Policy Officer, Steven Croley, reacted to the bill by commenting that the legislation will “empower the United States to lead in the global transition to electric and connected vehicles and alleviate supply constraints caused by the global shortage of legacy semiconductor chips our industry needs.” 

The last step until the bill is wholly passed is for President Joe Biden to sign. He has previously stated he wants to sign the law to decrease inflation and rising costs.

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