On Thursday, the Senate advanced a comprehensive bipartisan bill that would strengthen United States scientific advancement and technology in a bid to out-compete China. Furthermore, the Innovation & Competition Act of 2021, introduced by Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, is just one bill among many other anti-China bills sitting in Congress.
Senators pushed to end debate on approximately $250 billion lawmaking in a vote of 68 – 30, following a cloture motion on Thursday. On the floor of the Senate, Schumer said that they put themselves in a risky position of possibly falling behind the other countries in the world in industries and technologies that will define the next century.
Moreover, the legislation includes an effort of $190 billion to advance American technology, as well as another $54 billion effort to bolster telecommunication, semiconductors, and microchips equipment production. Countering the rising international reach of China is one of the few agendas that representatives crossed party lines to support, but the huge package appeared improbable to pass before an 11th-hour deal was struck early Thursday.
The Senate Majority Leader agreed on a vote to include a trade-related amendment under the coordination of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Senator Mike Crapo, a move that proved to be a major priority for not only Republican Senators but Democratic senators too. Moreover, the Senate approved the amendment with devastating bipartisan support in a vote of 91 – 4.
Legislation Targets Chinese Trade Practices
The Senate passed legislation will now include measures that counter the trade practices of China and ban the imports of products manufactured using slave labor. It is not clear when the U.S. Senate will issue its concluding vote on the bipartisan package – though Schumer said he wanted it finalized by Friday.
Furthermore, the majority leader told reporters earlier this week that they will finish this week. Once the legislation passes through the American Senate, it will proceed to the House for a vote. Atop Republican author, Senator Todd Young of Indiana categorized his primary proposal – the Endless Frontier Act he co-authored with Schumer – as part of the American history of innovation, like the launch of the internet or the moon landing, that Washington needs to foster if the United States is to remain competitive.
American President Joe Biden had included elements of the legislation as part of his huge infrastructure plan, the 2011 American Jobs Act, making a similar case that the United States needs to escalate its investments to stay competitive with opponents such as China. Last month, the president explained his plan to develop the infrastructure of today during a virtual meeting with CEOs over the international computer chip shortage that has been disrupting sales and supplies of everyday goods.
The United States once manufactured more than the present, which some senators said put America at risk of fluctuations in the international supply chain, as happened during 2020 shortages. Other measures make clear the concerns at the national level and target cyberattacks or money laundering by entities on behalf of the government of China. There are also buy American supplies for infrastructure projects in the United States.