WASHINTON D.C. (Nexstar) — China has a virtual monopoly on building the super-fast semiconductor chips that our phones and laptops depend on. As the United States battles China over trade and the coronavirus, lawmakers from both parties agree it’s time to reboot computer chip manufacturing in the U.S.
Two Texas lawmakers are leading the charge for computer chips to be made in America.
The semiconductor, living inside almost every electronic device, is the brain behind your phone, laptop, car, and even the military’s radars and missiles.
Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul says most semiconductors are made in China.
“We are very vulnerable to China with our supply chain and we have to change that,” McCaul said.
McCaul has teamed up with Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democrats Doris Matsui and Mark Warner to introduce the “Chips” Act.
McCaul says building a computer chip factory costs billions of dollars. The Chip Act would provide $22.8 billion dollars to help companies who are willing to take on the task.
Cornyn says China has a track record of stealing U.S. technology.
“We tend to turn the other way because they can do things cheaply and consumers in America can buy things at a lower price, but it comes at a bigger price in terms of our national security and vulnerability,” Cornyn said.
Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar says the technology is too important to everything we do.
“Let’s build that here in the United States and not depend on China,” Cuellar said.
The bill also would establish a national semiconductor technology center to conduct research and prototyping of advanced chips and push the U.S. to the forefront of computer chip technology.