WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor organization, said on Monday it strongly supports a U.S. House of Representatives bill aimed at improving competition with China, boosting semiconductor production in the United States and to reform key trade provisions.
The trade federation representing 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 negatively impact production in the automotive sector and elsewhere”.
The US House plans to take up the bill later this week.
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”.
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, the leaders of the two 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.”
The House bill reauthorizes and revises trade adjustment assistance programs, which help workers whose jobs or wages have been affected by imports. It also reforms the Generalized System of Preferences, a preferential tariff system for imports.
(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Bernadette Baum)
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