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America on offense against CCP

America on offense against CCP
America on offense against CCP
U.S. Sen. Todd Young
By U.S. Sen. Todd Young

America went on offense against the Chinese Communist Party in early August.

Legislation I worked on for years to out-innovate and out-compete China was signed into law on Aug. 9. The legislation went by many titles: the Endless Frontier Act, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and, finally, the CHIPS and Science Act.

No matter its name, enacting this legislation into law is a win for Indiana and a bold investment in America’s national security.

I wrote the original version of this bill recognizing we are in an ongoing global power competition with China. In many crucial areas, Beijing is gaining ground or even ahead of the U.S.

The Chinese Communist Party has invested $14 trillion in the frontier technologies that will shape our modern economy and decide winners of future wars, technologies like quantum computing, robotics and Artificial Intelligence. China has even made advances in hypersonic technology, which allows missiles carrying nuclear projectiles to travel at five times the speed of sound while evading our current defense systems.

In the last year, Hoosiers saw just how vulnerable — militarily and economically — America is to an increasingly technologically superior China. First, China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile capable of circling the earth before speeding toward and hitting a target. Then, closer to home, America’s supply chain ground to a halt because of a shortage of semiconductors, leaving plants like General Motors in Fort Wayne sitting idle.

These tiny chips bring life to our cellphones, cars, appliances, almost anything with a motor or a plug, including our military platforms. Many of our major domestic industries were put on pause because we are so reliant on other nations for computer chips.

America makes only 12% of the global supply of semiconductors, and China is investing heavily in semiconductor production. China accounted for less than 4% of the market half a decade ago, but is now on pace to control roughly 20% of the market by 2024.

If China produces more and more of the world’s supply of semiconductors, America’s economy and security could be at the mercy of the CCP, especially in the event of another pandemic or war. After all, 90% the chips in our military hardware are currently made overseas.

This is all part of Beijing’s bet to beat America, but the CHIPS and Science Act helps America counter that bet.

This new law provides $52.7 billion to jumpstart semiconductor production in the United States. A thriving domestic chip industry will prevent future supply chain stoppages and safeguard our military readiness.

And, it will benefit the Heartland economy. A corridor of the semiconductor industry will run through Indiana. Thanks to this law, SkyWater Technology is moving forward with plans to partner with Purdue to build a $1.8 billion dollar facility in West Lafayette that will manufacture semiconductor chips and create an estimated 750 jobs.

The CHIPS and Science Act also provides $2 billion for Department of Defense semiconductors. NSWC Crane, with its expertise in chip manufacturing, is expected to play a significant role in this effort, in turn creating economic opportunities across Southern Indiana. SkyWater already opened an office in Odon, near Crane.

The new law also supercharges funding of basic scientific research and significantly expands STEM education opportunities, and it will establish regional tech hubs across our country to help launch innovative companies, revive American manufacturing and lay the foundation for new jobs to jumpstart our local communities. Indiana will have an opportunity to apply for a tech hub designation, and Hoosiers have good reason to be optimistic about our state’s chance of success.

These Heartland investments are incredibly important at a time when just a handful of American cities account for nearly 90% of job growth in advanced sectors like tech, computer manufacturing, biotech and telecom.

The truth is our country faces a defense deficit, in large part because the Chinese government is heavily subsidizing industries and the development of mission critical technologies that the CCP hopes will give it an upper hand, both militarily and economically. It is simply not a level playing field.

Given this reality, we face two choices: do nothing and cede the future, or make smart investments in the American people and our national security to win the future.

By passing the CHIPS and Science Act, we are building a more prosperous and secure tomorrow for all Americans.