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Tags: semiconductor | china | taiwan | economy

Commerce Secretary: No Price Tag for National Security

Gina Raimondo sits at a desk behind her nameplate

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 24 July 2022 05:38 PM EDT

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday said on CBS News that federally subsidizing semiconductor manufacturing, which is already a profitable industry, in the United States was a matter of national security.

Raimondo was speaking to Margaret Brennan, host of "Face the Nation," about the $252 billion piece of legislation Congress is negotiating, which has drawn bipartisan criticism from party leaders such as Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rick Scott, R-Fla.

"This is a matter of national security," she said. "And I don't think we can put a price tag on it, because we are in a very vulnerable spot. So if you talk to the military experts, or the national defense contractors, you know, they'll tell you they need chips. There's 250 chips in a javelin launching system, and that's not as sophisticated as some of the new equipment."

Raimundo's comments come amid a debate. Supporters say the legislation would bolster national security by incentivizing an industry that others are dependent on, such as car manufacturing, weapons, computers, etc. Critics contend the bill's price tag, along with other spending bills that are passed and in play, would drive up debt and push inflation higher.

Scott said on Fox News, "If we're going to invest dollars, we ought to get a return. There's no return for the American taxpayer in this legislation, except maybe in regards to making inflation worse.

"A company like Intel," the senator added, "which made $20 billion last year, and their CEO made $180 million — [they're] going to get $3 [billion] to $4 billion to build something, but we don't specify exactly what it is. There's no obligation for them to build the technology we need, but they get the money and a tax credit anyway."

But speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, Raimondo warned that if China cut off the U.S.'s access to computer chips made in Taiwan, America could fall into a recession.

"If you allow yourself to think about a scenario where the United States no longer had access to the chips currently being made in Taiwan, it's a scary scenario," Raimondo told CNBC's Sara Eisen. "It's a deep and immediate recession. It's an inability to protect ourselves by making military equipment. We need to make this in America. We need a manufacturing base that produces these chips, at least enough of these chips, here on our shores because otherwise we'll just be too dependent on other countries."

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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday said on CBS News that federally subsidizing semiconductor manufacturing, which is already a profitable industry, in the United States was a matter of national security.
semiconductor, china, taiwan, economy
405
2022-38-24
Sunday, 24 July 2022 05:38 PM
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