The executive order “demonstrates that we are rapidly implementing the President’s vision for an American industrial strategy for the 21st century,” National Economic Council Director Brian Dees said in a statement. “CHIPS will secure critical supply chains for US manufacturers and strengthen vulnerabilities to lower costs for families and enhance our national and economic security.”
The act represents a dramatic bipartisan effort to direct tens of billions of dollars into manufacturing, research and development and science — all areas where the United States has lagged some global competitors in federal investment in recent years. American competition with China, and its rapid rise both economically and militarily, was seen as a central focus and often a driver of thrust through the legislative process.
The executive order will establish a 16-member Executive Steering Board made up of Cabinet secretaries and senior White House officials from Biden’s various national security and economics teams. The council will be chaired by Dess, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Alondra Nelson, acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The order will also detail Biden’s six implementation priorities in the coming months, which include a series of critical factors designed to guide speed, oversight and private sector relations of more than $52 billion in new funding to boost domestic chip manufacturing to create long-term economic and national security.
“We will move as quickly as possible to deploy these funds, while ensuring the time necessary to perform due diligence,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, a critical player in passing the law and a member of the new Steering Council, said in a statement. “This program is intended to be an investment in America’s long-term economic and national security, and we will take the necessary steps to ensure its success.”
Other priorities identified by Biden will include a focus on extensive review and compliance of how the funds are used and a focus on attracting significant private capital as part of a more sustainable and long-term effort. Other key elements are regional manufacturing hubs, innovation groups under the law, and a focus on including a wide range of stakeholders.
The Commerce Department has also launched a website, CHIPS.gov, that will serve as the central hub for implementation resources, including funding opportunities and timelines.
“We are committed to a transparent and fair process, and CHIPS.gov will be an essential channel through which we communicate with the public about CHIPS initiatives,” Raimondo said.
Raimondo said her agency had been preparing “for months” while Congress reached a final agreement on what implementation would entail.
But all along, growing concern about vulnerabilities caused by a lack of local semiconductor manufacturing capacity has been a vital – and increasingly urgent – issue within the West Wing.
In the days before Bell’s breakthrough on Capitol Hill, officials repeatedly cited China’s push to increase domestic production of vital components for everything from cars and washing machines to critical military weapons systems as a significant cause for concern.
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