Nine governors press U.S. lawmakers to pass semiconductor funding bill

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Nov 10 (Businesshala) – A bipartisan group of governors of nine states sent a letter to US lawmakers on Wednesday urging them to pass subsidies for semiconductor factories that would produce chips for cars.

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Governors, who include Michigan Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, called on Congress to pass the $52 billion CHIPS Act, which would set aside $2 billion for the kind of old-technology chips that the automotive industry deeply lacks.

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The group, which also includes governors of auto-producing states such as Alabama, said the cost of the reduction was

Automakers produce 2.2 million vehicles and affect 575,000 jobs in the industry.

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“The global auto chip shortage has hit Michigan and states across the country with tough, idle plants and production slowing, threatening thousands of auto-related jobs up and down the supply chain,” Whitmer said in a statement. “There is no end, it is clear that we have no time to lose if we are going to protect jobs and maintain our competitive edge.”

The semiconductor funding passed the US Senate earlier this year as part of the broader US Innovation and Competition Act, or USICA, passed 68-32. But it has not been passed by the House of Representatives.

Elements of the broader bill have attracted opposition from some House members, who worry that it lacks safeguards to prevent research funding from benefiting China, the United States’ primary global competitor.

“While we understand that the House of Representatives has its own priorities with regard to policies and programs included in USICA, we hope that the two Houses will now come together to find common ground regarding this legislation, including full funding for the CHIPS Act. Including re-sharing the provisions as soon as possible,” the governors wrote.

Also signatories to the letter were the governors of Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Kansas and California.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Ben Kellman in Detroit; Editing by Peter Cooney

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