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Jun 19, 2024, 7:18am EDT
politics

House panel to scrutinize China’s semiconductor, drone industries

REUTERS/Florence Lo//File Photo
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The Scoop

A US House panel will examine China’s efforts to dominate key industries including semiconductors, shipbuilding, and drones during a hearing next week.

The House select committee on China will hold the public hearing next Wednesday, according to details shared first with Semafor. Lawmakers will hear from Chris Miller, an authority on semiconductors and the author of “Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology,” United Steelworkers international president David McCall, and Adam Bry, the CEO of the California-based drone company Skydio.

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Know More

The hearing suggests the committee is shifting its focus to China’s competition with American manufacturing industries, with an eye on critical technologies. The panel has spent recent hearings examining China’s international development initiatives, the fentanyl crisis and cyber threats.

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Semiconductors in particular have been an area of focus for the Biden administration and Congress with the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act passed in 2022. The Commerce Department has distributed billions in grants to foreign and domestic chip manufacturers like Taiwan’s TSMC to help revive the ailing US chip manufacturing industry, while also imposing export controls on advanced chip technology flowing to China.

At the same time, China has been investing heavily in its own chip industry, including by unveiling a $47.5 billion state investment fund for semiconductors earlier this year.

The China select committee’s bipartisan leaders, Reps. John Moolenaar, R-Mich. and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., also recently asked the administration to investigate security risks posed by Chinese-made drones and potentially regulate them in the US. The House recently passed legislation that would ban future US sales of drones manufactured by the Chinese firm DJI. The drones are widely used across the US.

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With the focus on steel and shipbuilding, it’s possible next week’s hearing will also touch on the Biden administration’s Section 301 trade investigation into China’s dominance in shipbuilding, an industry that has been largely eroded in the US.

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Notable

  • The House panel previously asked chief executives from American chip companies Intel, Nvidia, and Micron to testify, the Financial Times reported at the start of this year.
  • The panel has also focused on Taiwan. Moolenaar and Krishnamoorthi cosponsored a bill that would direct US assistance to countries that face economic backlash from China for attempting to forge ties with the self-governing island.


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