U.S. Congress to Begin Talks on Merging Semiconductor Bills

U.S. Congress members set to meet on Thursday to discuss a compromise measure that would fund $52 billion in domestic semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and strengthen U.S. competitiveness with Chinese technology.

The Senate passed its semiconductor bill in June 2021, while the House passed a similar legislation in February. More than 100 Senate and House members have been named for a conference committee that will meet for the first time on Thursday to discuss the merging of the two bills. It could still take months before a final agreement is reached.

The global chip shortage has disrupted production in the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to scale back production.

The Senate made more than two dozen motions on Wednesday, instructing negotiators on a range of issues they want included in the bill. While those motions are non-binding, they convey a sense of what senators would like to see in the final bill and what could keep it from getting enough votes to become law.

The Senate’s June legislation that authorized $52 billion for chips and another $200 billion for scientific and technological innovation was stalled in the House. The House legislation that passed in February approved the $52 billion chip funding but had significant differences on other science and technology provisions.

That measure included a number of trade proposals not in the Senate bill. The House bill would also impose additional sanctions on China for its treatment of Uyghurs.

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