UPDATE: 1-U.S. House, Senate Will Negotiate On China Tech Bill

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The leaders of the United States House and Senate said on Wednesday that they would discuss in order to reach a final agreement on a measure to strengthen the United States’ technological competitiveness with China and semiconductor production.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has attempted to link the bill to a $750 billion yearly defense policy package. He stated on Monday that he intended to include the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), aiming to get it enacted so that President Joe Biden may sign it into law this year.

USICA authorized $190 billion to boost US technology and research in order to compete with China. It includes $52 billion to increase US semiconductor output.

However, the attempt to merge USICA and the NDAA was met with opposition, with Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring on Wednesday that “Senate Republicans made it plain they will veto the inclusion of USICA on the NDAA.”

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In June, the Senate passed USICA with bipartisan backing. The Senate-passed bill, however, was never taken up by the House of Representatives. House leaders had stated that they intended to pass their own bill, but they never did.

Schumer and Pelosi said that they will now hold a “conference” to begin serious discussions on USICA.

“With President Biden’s help, the House and Senate have been crafting bipartisan legislation to strengthen American manufacturing, repair our distribution networks, and invest in the next generation of cutting-edge research and technology,” the two said, adding that “there are still a number of important unresolved issues.”

“America’s R&D infrastructure must be resurrected,” she told journalists.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, predicted that the combined NDAA and USICA will be worth more than $1 trillion in a year.

Too much of it, he warned, would go to high-profit defense contractors as well as semiconductor manufacturers that outsourced manufacturing to China, displacing American workers and contributing to the present global chip shortage.

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