House bill

AFL-CIO Strongly Supports U.S. House China Competition and Chips Bill

The flags of the United States and China fly from a lamp post in Chinatown in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The largest U.S. labor organization said on Monday it strongly supports a House of Representatives bill to improve competition with China, boost state semiconductor production States and to reform key trade provisions.

The AFL-CIO trade federation, which represents 12.5 million workers, said in a letter to lawmakers that the $52 billion chip bill is essential to “address the current chip shortage that continues to grow.” ‘have a negative impact on production in the automotive sector and elsewhere’.

The U.S. House plans to take up the bill later this week. On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee is expected to consider more than 500 proposed amendments to the bill, including one from Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush, which would prevent semiconductor companies receiving government grants from paying dividends or buying out shares of the company.

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On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will speak to House Democrats about the importance of the legislation, according to an invitation seen by Reuters.

The union said the bill “will make critical and long-awaited improvements to America’s global competitive abilities, support workers whose jobs are being lost to trade, and protect and expand the tools to fight foreign trade.” unfair”.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it is pleased that the House “is now beginning the process of reviewing its version of this legislation. House action is an essential step in producing a bill that can be promulgated”.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday the House would vote on the 2,900-page bill, called the “America Competes” law. The bill authorizes $45 billion to support supply chain resilience and the manufacturing of essential goods and industrial equipment.

President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing Congress to approve funding to subsidize U.S. chip production as shortages of components used in vehicles and computers have exacerbated supply chain bottlenecks .

The Senate passed the US Innovation and Competition Act last year, which includes $52 billion for chips and authorizes $190 billion to bolster US technology and research to compete with China.

The House bill has some differences from the Senate version. If approved, leaders of both chambers will negotiate to resolve differences.

The AFL-CIO backed a new review process to protect supply chains “by screening outbound investment and guarding against offshoring of critical capabilities to adversaries like China and Russia.”

The group added “from semiconductors to pharmaceutical ingredients, it will provide a review mechanism needed to advance production and employment in the United States.”

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Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Stephen Coates

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