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FIRST ON FOX: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is opposing a major bipartisan bill aimed at boosting the U.S. semiconductor industry, arguing that the way to beat China is through innovation — and not via “corporate handouts.”
“We don’t need to be China to beat China,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
The bill, aimed at boosting the U.S. semiconductor industry to give the U.S. the competitive edge over China, cleared a procedural vote in the Senate this week with 16 Republican votes.
The bill includes $52 billion in funding for the semiconductor industry, but has grown to include provisions that include research, intellectual property and other competition-related provisions — meaning the price tag could pass $200 billion.
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While those in support of the legislation have touted the importance of national security in being able to compete with China — especially in the area of computer chips, where the globe has suffered major supply chain issues — it has raised concerns about inflation and corporate welfare.
Haley, a prominent China hawk, was not convinced that the hefty legislation was the way to compete with Beijing.
“The way to encourage innovation and strengthen our national security isn’t through corporate handouts,” the former South Carolina governor said. “As Americans suffer from the worst inflation in 40 years, this legislation doesn’t ensure that our best asset—our innovation—won’t be funneled back to help Communist China. That’s a bad deal for the American people.”
Haley’s concerns about inflation, corporate welfare and a potential benefit to China, have been shared by some Republicans in the Senate. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said on Fox Business on Wednesday that it would give corporations like Intel tax breaks, tax credits and money to build a plant.
“And guess what? They can keep doing business in China,” he said. “If China invades Taiwan they can keep doing business just as they are right now in China. Sounds like a pro-China bill, not an anti-China bill to me.”
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The Biden administration, meanwhile, has pushed hard for the passage of the bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said recently that the issue was a “grave national security threat.”
“If you don’t get this done by August 4 there is irreparable harm to the United States economy and the United States military operations. So you have to at least get this done now,” she told Reuters.
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The timetable for the bill passing the Senate remains unclear, although it’s possible the bill will pass this week or next week. A Senate GOP aide told Fox News that it’s not totally clear exactly what provisions will be in the final version of the bill.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.