With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden’s $52.7 billion semiconductor chips manufacturing subsidy and research executive order is now officially being implemented.
The bill is part of a big push to make the U.S. competitive with China on the chip front, according to Reuters. The outlet says the law is aimed at alleviating some of the impact of the chip shortage that has plagued just about every piece of technology that’s being manufactured around the world.
As part of the whole package, the “Chips and Science” law is also going to include a tax credit for chip manufacturers. Reuters say the measure will be worth $24 billion.
The Commerce Department will be the one deciding on and making the funding awards for chip plants. The department has also launched CHIPS.gov, where people can get all the information they need on the new measure.
Gina Raimodo, the U.S. Commerce Secretary, told the outlet that her department has been preparing for months for the new program.
“We are committed to a process that is transparent and fair. We will move as swiftly as possible to deploy these funds, while also ensuring the time needed to perform due diligence,” Riamondo told Reuters.
Biden’s order sets six primary priorities to guide implementation and establishes a 16-member interagency CHIPS implementation council to be co-chaired by National Economic Director Brian Deese, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Acting Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Alondra Nelson. The council will include the secretaries of Defense, State, Commerce, Treasury, Labor and Energy.
It is still not clear when Commerce will formally make available semiconductor chips funding for prospective applications or how long it will take to make awards.
The Biden administration added that the program “will include rigorous review of applications along with robust compliance and accountability requirements to ensure taxpayer funds are protected and spent wisely.”
Despite this being an initiative from the Biden administration, some progressives say the bill is a bit of a giveaway to already profitable chip companies that have already closed their U.S. plants.