Biden’s infrastructure plan will bolster the U.S. semiconductor industry: Commerce Secretary

The White House infrastructure plan will make the US more on par with China as it strengthens the US semiconductor industry, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.

“This is about outperforming China,” Raimondo said in a Mad Money interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “If we act now … we will compete with China. It is time to do this, to rebuild, especially to put semiconductors in, but we have to get to work to do this.”

The comments came moments after President Joe Biden unveiled a $ 2 trillion package designed primarily for bridges, roads, and other transportation initiatives. The proposal also calls for a $ 50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research.

A global chip shortage, compounded by the high demand for computers and other technological products during the coronavirus pandemic, has put American manufacturers under pressure. For example, Ford announced on Wednesday that it would cut automobile production at several North American plants due to low semiconductor supplies.

Raimondo, who left the Rhode Island governor’s home to join the Biden administration, said semiconductors are “the building blocks of a future economy and a digital economy.” Investing in semiconductor manufacturing will pave the way for basic research, more foundry jobs, professional training and advanced manufacturing, she said.

“I am confident that when the business community big and small has the opportunity to delve into this package, it will find that it is all about competing and winning now and in the future. That is good for business and.” good for workers. ” She said.

The Biden government aims to pass an infrastructure law by the summer. The title “The American Jobs Plan” includes spending to combat climate change, improve drinking water infrastructure, expand broadband access and lay the foundations for electric vehicle capability.

The package could face some hurdles in Congress, despite the Democrats’ power advantage. Democrats hold a slight majority in the House and a 50:50 tiebreaker in the Senate. However, Republicans are preparing to object to the size of the package and the White House’s plan to pay for it.

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