US Senate passes bill aimed at countering Chinese tech threat

In a recent development, the US Senate passed a major industrial policy bill on Tuesday to ensure that the US remains competitive with China as one of the globe’s technological powerhouses. The bill is clearly intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology. The bill was passed with a sweeping majority with 68-32 votes in the Senate depicting that resisting China economically is an issue that can unite both the ruling and the opposition parties together.  

The bill would pump about $250 billion into the field of technology and science research in the country. The funding will be committed towards scientific research, subsidies for chipmakers and robot makers, and revamping the National Science Foundation.

The bill will now head to the House of Representatives, as it was earlier passed as a different version. The two will now be reconciled into a single bill and then will be sent to the White House for the president’s signature in order for it to become a law.   

President Joe Biden applauded the bill’s passage, and said, “He is extremely encouraged by the bipartisan effort.” With this, Biden further added, “We are in a competition to win the 21st century. As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind.”

The bill passed in the Senate also China-related provisions, including prohibiting the popular social media app TikTok from being downloaded on government devices in the country. Apart from this, the bill also has provisions that would block the purchase of drones manufactured and sold by companies backed by the Chinese government. 

In another important provision, the bill aims to create broad new mandatory sanctions on Chinese entities that are engaged in initiating cyberattacks on the US or theft of intellectual property from US firms.

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