“It’s all in our economic interest and it’s also in our national security interest,” Biden said Friday when laying the foundation stone for a new chip plant for US semiconductor company Intel in Columbus, Ohio.
In his speech, Biden referred to a new law under which his government would provide $52 billion to boost semiconductor production in the United States. “No wonder the Chinese Communist Party is actively lobbying American companies against this law,” Biden said.
But competition with China is not just about economic issues. The United States needs modern technology for “weapons systems of the future,” which are becoming more dependent on computer chips than before. “Unfortunately, we don’t produce any of these advanced chips in America,” complained the president.
Biden’s visit to Ohio was also a campaign appearance before the November congressional elections. The state is part of the so-called Rust Belt, an area in the northeastern United States that has been hit hard by the decades-old decline of the steel, automobile and coal industries. Ohio is also one of the classic swing states, with Biden Democrats sometimes winning and Republicans sometimes winning.
The midterm congressional elections come in the middle of Biden’s term. The House of Representatives and parts of the Senate were newly elected. The Democrats have so far formed the majority in the House, and there is a stalemate between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, which Vice President Kamala Harris, as the speaker of the Senate, has managed to break in the Democrats’ favour. .
If the Democrats end up in the minority in either, or even both, houses of Congress, that would severely limit Biden’s ability to act in the second half of his four-year term.
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