Rep. Peters Votes to Pass America COMPETES to Energize American Businesses, Enhance Worker Opportunity
February 4, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) supported the House passage of the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (America COMPETES) Act, a comprehensive package to make transformational new investments in research, innovation and American manufacturing that will ensure that our country can outcompete any nation in the world, now and for decades to come. The bill will accelerate U.S. production of critical semiconductor chips, strengthen supply chains to make more goods in America, turbocharge our research capacity to lead the technologies of the future, and advance our global competitiveness.
“San Diego, a world-renowned science and technology hub, recognizes the immense importance of innovation. It is critical to our country’s economic success and national security to ramp up our research, development and production,” said Rep. Peters. “The American COMPETES Act would keep invaluable STEM talent on our shores, create new jobs in innovation, increase support for scientific discovery, reinforce U.S. supply chains, and promote American global leadership. These policies are key to outcompete countries like China and will ensure the long-term prosperity and standing of the United States.”
The package includes an amendment Rep. Peters offered with Rep. Kathy Manning (NC-06) to add graduates with advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) who work in a critical industry to the bill’s exemption from numerical visa limitations for doctoral STEM graduates. This will help the United States—and San Diego—further retain top STEM talent from around the world after they graduate with a Master’s degree in related fields.
Other measures in the America COMPETES Act will:
- Make critically-needed semiconductors in America. Over the past 30 years, the United States’ global share of manufacturing semiconductors – an increasingly essential component in everything from computers to cars – has collapsed, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to chip shortages and disruptions abroad that drive up costs of key goods here at home. The America COMPETES Act meets this challenge by appropriating $52 billion for the CHIPS for America Act, critical investments to support continued American technological leadership in semiconductor fabrication, address supply chain disruptions and ensure more semiconductors are produced here at home.
- Fix the supply chain and strengthen American manufacturing. The disruption of the pandemic has exposed more profound weaknesses in a supply chain that has increasingly relied on foreign manufacturing instead of making goods in America with American workers. The America COMPETES Act authorizes $45 billion to fix our broken supply chains by building more critical components in America, strengthening American manufacturing and protecting our national security with American-made capacity to prevent shortages and disruptions – including public health and biological preparedness, information and communications technology, the energy and transportation sector’s industrial base, and agricultural commodities and food products.
- Turbocharge American scientific research, technology and innovation excellence. To ensure American innovation drives the development of the technologies of the future, the America COMPETES Act of 2022 includes a suite of bipartisan science, research and technology bills to turbocharge American innovation, focusing on solutions instead of chasing buzzwords and maximizing the American talent pool by strengthening and diversifying our nation’s STEM workforce.
- Secure America’s global competitiveness and leadership. Includes numerous provisions to strengthen and promote America’s leadership around the globe, ensuring that American interests, partnerships and values succeed on the global stage, and that American leadership wins on the key issues of our time, including the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as the PRC and other countries seek to re-write the rules of the road in their favor. The America COMPETES Act takes real, strong action to hold the PRC accountable for its trade abuses and human rights violations.
Before the America COMPETES Act can advance, the House will need to conference with the Senate to resolve differences between the House bill and a Senate version known as United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA).
Rep. Peters continued: “It’s important we move on this quickly. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle and in the other chamber to mitigate differences and form a package that can earn 60 votes in the Senate to send it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”