On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved a bill aiming to boost the production of semiconductors domestically.
The supply of semiconductors – in-demand microchips that power most technological products today – has been disrupted for quite a while now due to the shutdowns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has caused widespread shortages of the products, most of which are manufactured in Asia.
The bill, which would now return to the House of Representatives for final approval, will provide $52 billion for increasing the domestic production of semiconductors. It will also provide over $100 billion for over five years of research and development.
Dubbed the CHIPS Act, the Senate passed the bill via a rare bipartisan vote, 64 to 33. Seventeen Republicans teamed up with Democrats to approve it.
Following the passage of the bill, U.S. Pres. Joe Biden welcomed it, saying it would “accelerate the manufacturing of semiconductors in America, lowering prices on everything from cars to dishwashers.”
The semiconductor shortages have slowed production rates in many tech industries, such as the automobile industry, last year. This resulted in prices going up.
“It will mean more resilient American supply chains, so we are never so reliant on foreign countries for the critical technologies that we need for American consumers and national security,” Biden said in a statement.