By Russ Wiles | Arizona Republic
As a growing hub for manufacturing semiconductors — the little brains inside everything from cellphones to computers to automobiles — Arizona stands to benefit to the tune of billions of dollars if Congress passes the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.
The bipartisan legislation, which the Senate is expected to continue debating after it returns from its Memorial Day recess around June 7, addresses a range of technology, scientific, trade and other issues. Of a total legislative price tag that could top $200 billion, more than $50 billion would strengthen the domestic chip-making industry and counter massive incentives given to foreign rivals by their governments, proponents say.
It would finance semiconductor manufacturing, further research and development and enhance supply-chain security. It also could fund space research programs developed in part by Arizona universities.
The bill, which also includes support for other technology industries including robotics and artificial intelligence, has received strong backing from both of Arizona’s U.S. senators, Democrats Kyrsten Sinema, who was among a group that introduced the bill in the Senate last year, and Mark Kelly. The House of Representatives has not yet taken it up.