Domestic semiconductor manufacturing bill cosponsored by Blackburn, Portman

Amid the global shortage of semiconductor technologies that has caused major disruptions for a wide range of American industries, including manufacturers in Tennessee, U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced a bipartisan bill that would strengthen American semiconductor production and supply chains.

The senators on Dec. 7 cosponsored the Investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act, S. 3331, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) to amend the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 to improve the semiconductor incentive program at the U.S. Commerce Department.

“The recent global chip shortage put American medical equipment, computer, and car supply chains on hold,” Sen. Blackburn said. “The Investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act will make existing resources available to producers of semiconductor equipment.”

Such work is essential, she said, “to decrease dependency on companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, restore global supply chains, and directly benefit manufacturers in Oak Ridge and Nashville, Tenn.”  

If enacted, S. 3331 aims to ensure that federal incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing include U.S. suppliers that produce the materials and manufacturing equipment that enable semiconductor manufacturing, in turn strengthening both the supply chain for semiconductors and manufacturers, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Blackburn’s staff. 

“The current semiconductor shortage is having wide-ranging harmful effects on our economy and national security,” said Sen. Portman. “The CHIPS Act helps address this crisis by giving our domestic supply chain a shot in the arm. 

“To have a truly resilient domestic semiconductor industry, we need to support upstream manufacturers as well,” he said.

Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, endorsed the bill. “By ensuring the Department of Commerce has the flexibility to provide incentives for the production of semiconductor equipment and materials, this legislation will strengthen the entire semiconductor supply chain, help alleviate shortages of semiconductors affecting countless key industries and mitigate them in the future,” he said.