Apr 08, 2021 07:02 UTC
  • US Senate panel will hold hearing on tech bill to combat China

The US Senate Commerce Committee plans to discuss a bipartisan technology measure to address competition with China amid ongoing tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

According to Press TV, the committee is set to hold a hearing on April 14 on the bill, titled the “Endless Frontier Act,” which would advance US technology research and development efforts.

The bill, which was initially proposed in 2020 and cosponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Todd Young, calls for $110 billion over a five-year period to bolster US technology efforts.

The hearing “will address potential actions to strengthen the US innovation ecosystem, including increasing National Science Foundation research funding; growing and diversifying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline; improving technology transfer; and investing in regional innovation centers,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell in a statement on Wednesday.

In March, Schumer said several committees would hold hearings and mark-ups on bipartisan legislation “designed to bolster American competitiveness and counter the growing economic threats we face across the globe, especially from the Chinese Communist Party.”

The top Democrat also seeks to push legislation on improving US semiconductor production and, according to congressional aides, both proposals could total $200 billion.

Kelvin Droegemeier, who headed the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under former president Donald Trump, University of Notre Dame Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and others including educators from Mississippi State University and the MIT Office of Open Learning will attend the hearing.

Sources told Reuters the committee might hold a separate hearing later this month to discuss legislative language.

Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is moving legislation to address global strategic competition with China.

The panel is hopeful that it can complete a draft of the measure this week in order to put it up to a vote in the committee as soon as next week.