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Bipartisan National Security Experts Urge Congress to Pass Competitiveness Legislation to Boost Semiconductor Production and Domestic Manufacturing


On Monday, March 21st, a bipartisan cohort of national security officials urged Congress to swiftly pass legislation revitalizing domestic semiconductor manufacturing, boosting domestic manufacturing, and helping America economically outcompete China and the rest of the world in the 21st century. Joining Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and members of Congress from both parties, the officials warned that failing to boost U.S. semiconductor production and domestic manufacturing leaves U.S. economic and national security at risk and vulnerable to global supply chain shocks, like we’ve seen over the past two years.

The event comes as Secretary Raimondo and a growing number of voices from both parties call on Congress to move toward final passage of the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which would invest $52 billion in domestic semiconductor production, spur innovation and advanced manufacturing in every corner of America, as well as create America’s first Supply Chain Resilience Office.

Semiconductors are integral to the function of U.S. military communication, navigation, and advanced weaponry systems. The Department of Commerce has worked to deprive the Russian military of the semiconductors it needs for weapons, vehicles, and communication capabilities in its unprovoked assault against Ukraine. The U.S.’ share of global chip production has fallen from 40 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today. 90 percent of the world’s leading-edge semiconductors are made outside of the United States, and global shortages of semiconductors have resulted in higher prices for American consumers – with one-third of inflation over the last year due to higher auto prices.

“Chips are essential components of our most vital and sensitive military equipment. Our overreliance on foreign manufacturers puts crucial elements of our national and economic security at risk,” said Secretary Raimondo. “ Our competitors like China are racing to support their semiconductor industries and they aren’t waiting for us to catch up. Every day we wait is a day we fall further behind.”

“It is vital that Congress act now to counter Chinese economic aggression, compete, and secure competitive advantages necessary to preserve peace and promote prosperity,” said Lieutenant General (Ret.) H.R. McMaster.

“At the Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, we strongly endorse rapid passage of the Bipartisan Innovation Act,” said Bonnie Glick, Former Deputy Administrator of USAID. “The longer we delay, the more we leave open the door for the Chinese Communist Party to drive toward their Made in China 2025 goal.”

"At a time when democracies face an urgent threat, government investment in U.S. technological leadership is a strategic national imperative," said Former Under Secretary of State Keith Krach. "It will also serve as a powerful catalyst for additional private-sector investment and send a clear message to our citizens, allies, and the Chinese Communist Party itself that America is united in its commitment to preserve our precious freedom from authoritarianism."

Secretary Raimondo was joined by Senator Todd Young, Representative Doris Matsui, Former National Security Advisor Lieutenant General (Ret.) H.R. McMaster, Former Deputy Administrator of USAID Bonnie Glick, Former Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth Keith Krach, Former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, and National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Commissioner and Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The roundtable came as the Department of Commerce continues to enforce sweeping export controls against Russia, targeting its ability to procure semiconductors, advanced technology, and other components essential to the continuity of Russia’s military operations.

The video of Monday's panel can be viewed here.