Biden calls on Congress to pass China competition bill

President Biden called on Congress in his State of the Union address on Tuesday to send to his desk a bill intended to increase America’s competitiveness with China.

He said the legislation will help level the playing field and “make record investments in emerging technologies and American manufacturing.”

The measure is aimed at bolstering domestic supply chains and scientific research to make the U.S. more competitive with nations such as China. 

The House passed its version of the bill last month, largely along party lines. The Senate had passed its own version of the legislation, with 18 Republicans supporting it, in June.

The House and Senate have to reconcile their competing versions and reach an agreement that at least 10 Senate Republicans can vote for, as the legislation will need at least 60 votes to pass.

Biden on Tuesday noted Intel’s $20 billion investment to build chip factories in Ohio and said the site will include “some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world to make computer chips the size of a fingertip that power the world and our everyday lives.”

“Smartphones. The internet. Technology we have yet to invent. But that’s just the beginning,” Biden said.

The president acknowledged Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who was in the chamber at the address.  

“That would be one of the biggest investments in manufacturing in American history. And all they’re waiting for is for you to pass this bill,” Biden said of the competition bill. 

“So let’s not wait any longer. Send it to my desk. I’ll sign it,” he added. “And we will really take off in a big way.” 

Earlier in his remarks, he said the bipartisan infrastructure law, which passed in November, is going to put America on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century, calling out China and its president in particular.  

“As I’ve told [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, it is never a good bet to bet against the American people,” he said.

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