Opinion: 2 state governors weigh in on how to increase US chip supply and lower prices

These supply chain issues are not just inconveniences, but threats to our economic and national security. So, as we move towards the “new normal”, it has become very clear that we need to create the infrastructure here at home that allows us to reduce our dependence on foreign goods, especially those produced in China.

That’s why we believe Congress needs to pass bipartisan legislation that addresses vulnerabilities in our national supply chain by supporting scientific and technical research and encouraging local production of semiconductors. Transforming America’s manufacturing sector could increase our gross domestic product by up to $460 billion and add up to 1.5 million jobs to our economy, according to a McKinsey Global Institute analysis of IHS Markit data. This is real economic progress at a critical time in our recovery from the pandemic.
Semiconductors are the foundation of our 21st century society. They not only power our smartphones, computers and home electronics, but also our country’s transportation, navigation and medical equipment. Dependence on foreign-made products poses an unacceptable threat to our economic security. Take our auto industry, which has been hampered by extreme chip shortages. Without an adequate supply of semiconductors, many automakers were forced to shut down production. And, as a result, working-class and middle-class Americans find it harder to afford new and used vehicles that keep them working.
Our dependence on foreign-made semiconductors is not just a problem of rising inflation and shortages, but also of national security. Chips are used in everything from military weapon systems that keep us safe to power plants, internet service providers and other critical areas. Infrastructure.

As governors, we are acutely aware of the challenges we face in recovering from this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

In Arkansas, we created the Advice on future mobility focus on innovation in the transportation of goods and people. Some of the most successful transportation companies in the world call our state home, and their work makes Arkansas a leader in transportation and logistics. The council will drive the development of autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and drone delivery. And as these technologies advance, prescription drugs, groceries, and even coffee will be delivered quickly and cheaply. And the chips will be central, as they will tap into and navigate the complex structures and data needed to make this integrated global network work.
In New Jersey, we also have policies in place to drive development, not only in our research and development labs, but also in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities here at home. Last year we inaugurated the New Jersey Wind Port, an offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility that will reduce our dependence on foreign energy. We have also adopted the New Jersey Buy American Actthat ensures that our state’s major infrastructure products use American iron and steel.

New Jersey and Arkansas are very different states, and we represent different parties and different political ideologies. Yet despite these differences, we have come together in a bipartisan way and we urge Congress to do the same.

Currently, Congress is considering various bills, including the bipartisan US Innovation and Competition Act in the Senate and America COMPETES Act in the House, to boost US competitiveness and boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing. While we may disagree on specific provisions of these bills, we believe that Congress can overcome these obstacles largely through good faith compromises. Congress should whittle these bills down to the essentials that both sides can agree on and pass this legislation quickly for the good of our nation.

Focusing on domestic production is a strong economic policy that will strengthen our supply chains, reduce the cost of everyday products, reduce our reliance on China, and keep manufacturing facilities running. Our elected leaders in Washington must make American competitiveness – and its corresponding control over Chinese power – a priority. We urge them to unite on a deal that covers both houses of Congress as well as ideologies across the spectrum – from the most conservative to the most progressive – and get a bill through to President Biden’s office.

About Perry Perrie

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