China’s technological ambitions are eliciting rare bipartisan agreement in Washington, with lawmakers considering investing tens of billions of dollars in America’s semiconductor industry over the next five to 10 years to help the United States retain an edge over Beijing.
A bipartisan measure introduced this week is one of several proposals that would provide substantial funding for the semiconductor industry, which manufactures chips that serve as the tiny brains or memory of electronic devices from smartphones to fitness trackers.
The efforts reflect a shifting consensus in Washington, as lawmakers look to more expansive government intervention in private markets to help American firms compete. That includes Republicans, who have long criticized government-led industrial plans as inefficient and redolent of communism but have watched with dismay as such efforts in China have allowed it to dominate industries from steel and solar panels to shipbuilding...It's pretty amazing to watch the moves towards the direct subsidization of American manufacturing. One imagines that this may begin to happen with the pharmaceutical industry as well, especially on the manufacturing side.* Overall, I suspect it will produce more boondoggles than be actually successful, but we shall see. I'm skeptical.
*If the COVID-19 recession continues, maybe this will change, but I still don't see Americans volunteering to put a chemical manufacturing facility in their town, I just don't.