Fri, 07 May 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: A U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will conduct hearings this week on a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting programs that solidify the U.S. standing in technological innovations, to keep in check China's rising influence and domination in crucial sectors.

The bill, known as the "Endless Frontier Act," was initially put forth last year and mandated allocating $110 billion for a five-year period, providing funding to keep the United States technologically advanced, with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Todd Young, co-sponsoring it.

Senator Maria Cantwell, chairing the Senate Committee, noted in a statement that the hearing "will address potential actions to strengthen the U.S. innovation ecosystem, including increasing National Science Foundation research funding; growing and diversifying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline; improving technology transfers, and investing in regional innovation centers."

Senator Schumer had noted in March that several committees would be holding hearings and discussions pertaining to the bipartisan bill, "designed to bolster American competitiveness and counter the growing economic threats we face across the globe, especially from the Chinese Communist Party."

The senator is keen on moving the bill forward to ramp up the manufacturing of semiconductor chips in the United States.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is also prioritizing a law to handle global strategic competitiveness with China.

Members of the panel are optimistic of completing the drafting of the measure to ensure the committee's voting on it at the earliest, around mid-April, according to aides.

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