As Russia sinks into Ukraine, tech bill targeting China is gaining momentum

While the United States remains marred by partisanship, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has proven to be a unifying force, uniting Democrats and Republicans around the common interest of ensuring the country’s sustainable national security in the future.

Congress has passed a number of bills aimed at fighting Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and most members continue to express their continued support for these measures.

However, while Russia will continue to stand as a major threat, its failure to take Ukraine quickly has diminished its standing. Defense Department Comptroller Mike McCord asserted on March 28 that “China is the number one issue to watch.”

It seems that in the very near future, China could be chosen to fill the role of the “common enemy” that Russia has occupied for the past several months. In the coming weeks, the House and Senate stand ready for a conference on the Senate Innovation and Competition Act and House America COMPETES, which could see investment of up to $350 billion in programs aimed at moving the nation forward over China.

“We want to make sure we lead technology, not China, in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, clean technology, synthetic biology, semiconductor manufacturing, and electronics manufacturing,” Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California, who helped assemble the House copy, said. NEWSWEEK. “This is a huge investment in all of those areas,”

Khanna added: “We saw that with the supply chain crisis. We were so dependent on products abroad, and that partially led to inflation, and it led to shortages.”. “We don’t want to be dependent on global supply chains for critical equipment.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting on November 13, 2019 in Brazil. As the United States focuses on great power competition, competition with China has become a greater priority.
Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The South China Morning Post reported in July 2021 that China, at its current pace, is poised to overtake the United States in R&D spending by 2025. Indeed, China leads the United States as the world’s largest high-tech manufacturer. Report by Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

By making these investments, Khanna said, the United States will become less dependent on China as a player in its technology economy, giving the country more leverage in implementing economic sanctions if it finds itself in conflict with its main adversary.

Right now, the United States could be in serious economic trouble if it finds itself as much against China as it is with Russia. China claims Taiwan, the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer, and if Taiwan were to be annexed, the United States could find itself in serious trouble.

Heidi Crepeau-Redeker, who specializes in US economic competitiveness as a senior associate fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said, NEWSWEEK Semiconductor chips play an essential role in American consumer and defense technology as well as in the automotive, industrial, and communications fields. Competition bills will be invested in supporting this potential liability by setting up in-house plants.

In addition to closing that gap, she said, the bill would better prevent China from leveraging its capabilities in other economic areas to influence US decisions, all while putting the country on the right track to achieving its status as an innovation leader in 21 countries.St a century.

“China has not been shy about using its dominance in any particular industry to cut off vital supplies,” said Crepeau-Redeker. NEWSWEEK. “I think the ambition is really to make sure that the United States continues to have the federal support for research and innovation that will lay the foundation for the American economy to be strong in the 21st century.”

Khanna also emphasized that in addition to competing with China, the bill is about strengthening the economy, something he said will also play a vital role in the country’s security in the coming years.

One of Khanna’s primary hallmarks of the bill lies in the legislation’s “Regional Technology and Innovation Program,” which invests in research and workforce development programs outside of the country’s major tech hubs.

This came from the Endless Khanna Act, a bill he introduced in April 2021 after drawing inspiration from the writings of economists John Gruber and Simon Johnson, who argue in their book “Jump-Start America” ​​that federal investments in science and technology can stimulate Economic growth.

Ro Khanna
Congressman Ro Khanna said the book “Jump-Start America,” which argues that federal investments in science and technology can spur economic growth, inspired parts of the bill. Here, he talks at Go Bigger about climate, care and justice! On July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Green New Deal

“What we should focus on are policies that will increase production in this country which are deflationary and create good paying jobs,” Khanna said. NEWSWEEK. “Inflation is just too much money chasing too few goods. If you have more goods, more production, you actually have a deflationary effect. And we see that by building more semiconductor chips.”

On April 25, Congress will return to work after a two-week recess. Khanna said he hoped the bill would reach President Joe Biden’s office “as soon as possible.” And with his bipartisan appeal, he thinks he stands a good chance of passing.

However, Jennifer Hellman, co-director of the Center for Inclusive Commerce and Development at Georgetown University Law School, cautions that the bill could be delayed if Congress cannot meet on two key points made in the House version of the bill.

The first is a clause that prevents IP infringing countries from obtaining “duty-free” import tax exemptions. This means that all shipments from China, the violator, will have to pay a fee.

The second is a provision that would require the examination of foreign investments by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an agency that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments. She said this would raise questions about the free movement of funds.

In the end, despite these potential sticking points, she remains confident that the bill will be brought to the president’s desk for signature.

“I think at the end of the day he’s going to come out of the conference and pass,” Hellman said. NEWSWEEK. “It’s essential, and I think there’s a lot to make everyone happy.”

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