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Commerce Department Leans Into Manufacturing

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is working to bolster investments in manufacturing in order to challenge Russia and China on their aggressive economic policies, according to a profile in the The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Garnering support: Secretary Raimondo garnered support from former Trump administration officials and Democratic lawmakers for the $52 billion bill to strengthen semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.

  • “The most important thing we can do to compete with China is invest in America,” said Secretary Raimondo.

Investing in chips: The bill, passed in July, gives the Commerce Department management of more than $100 billion in funding.

  • About $28 billion of the funding will be disbursed in loans and grants for facilities that produce advanced chips.
  • $10 billion will be used to expand manufacturing of older and specialty technologies.
  • A good deal of the remaining funds will be used to support research and development in the industry.

Protecting IP: The Commerce Department is also working to secure American intellectual property against foreign competitors and adversaries.

  • “Ms. Raimondo said her team has worked aggressively to protect American technology and intellectual property, including through adding more than 100 Chinese companies to the entity list for export restrictions.”

What’s next: “Ms. Raimondo says she is committed to using her post to advance the cause of workers and women. One example: Her next initiative is to roll out apprenticeship and workforce diversification programs supported by companies receiving funds through the Chips Act.”

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