President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order intended to kick-start the implementation process of the sweeping $280 billion bill to boost domestic chip manufacturing and scientific research in the US, according to a copy of the order obtained by CNN.
Biden signed the warrant just two weeks after signing the bill known as the CHIPS and Science Act. It’s a move that reflects the urgency — and understanding of the substantial task ahead — for top government officials as they continue to grapple with the acute risk posed by the concentration of the critical semiconductor industry.
The executive order “demonstrates that we are rapidly implementing the president’s vision for a 21st century American industrial strategy,” Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said in a statement. “The CHIPS Act will secure critical supply chains for U.S. manufacturers and strengthen vulnerabilities to reduce costs for families and strengthen our national and economic security.”
The law marked a dramatic, two-pronged effort to put tens of billions of dollars into manufacturing, research and development, and science — all areas where the US has fallen behind some global competitors in federal investment in recent years. US competition with China, and China’s rapid economic and military rise, was seen as a central and often driving focus during the legislative process.
The executive order will establish a 16-member implementation steering board composed of cabinet secretaries and top White House officials from Biden’s national security and economic teams. The council will be chaired by Deese, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Alondra Nelson, the acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The order will also detail Biden’s six priorities for the implementation process over the coming months, including a set of critical factors designed to drive speed, oversight and private sector relations for more than $52 billion worth of investment. new funding to boost domestic chip production. long-term economic and national security.
“We will act as quickly as possible to deploy these funds, while also ensuring the time needed to conduct due diligence,” said Commerce Minister Gina Raimondo, a critical player in the passage of the law and member of the new steering group, in a statement. “This program is intended as a long-term investment in America’s economic and national security, and we will take the necessary steps to ensure its success.”
The other priorities identified by Biden include a focus on intensive review and compliance with how the funds are used and a focus on raising significant private capital as part of a more sustainable and long-term effort. The Act’s regional manufacturing hubs and innovation clusters and a focus on including a broad set of stakeholders are the other key elements.
The Department of Commerce has also launched a website, CHIPS.gov, which will serve as the central hub for deployment resources, including funding options and timelines.
“We are committed to a process that is transparent and fair, and CHIPS.gov will be a vital channel through which we communicate with the public about CHIPS program initiatives,” Raimondo said.
Raimondo said her agency had been preparing “for months” while Congress reached a final agreement on what the implementation would entail.
Biden signed the bill last month amid a wave of potentially transformative legislative success, including finally closing the $700 billion economic and climate package deal that White House officials had been pushing for since the early months of his presidency. .
But growing concerns about vulnerabilities caused by the lack of domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity served as a lively and increasingly pressing issue within the West Wing.
In the days leading up to the Bill’s breakthrough on Capitol Hill, officials repeatedly cited China’s own pressure to ramp up domestic production of the critical components of everything from cars and washing machines to critical military weapon systems as a major cause for alarm.