Senate Prepared to Pass a $ 195 Billion Bill to Strengthen Competitiveness with China

Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, took the full Senate before the vote and praised the results that “the partnership of government and business to solve an urgent crisis of national interest” had produced during the pandemic, citing the rapid development of vaccines.

“When it comes to research development technology, that’s perhaps the biggest requirement ahead of us,” he said. “The 21st century will be defined by this competition between China and the United States, and it is a competition that we simply cannot win unless we step up and match it.”

Rubio tried Thursday to add stricter counterintelligence measures to the legislation, warning that it would be futile to spend billions of dollars on research “if we are going to allow the Chinese to steal it from us.” But that measure failed to get the 60 votes required to be added to the bill.

In a push to connect manufacturing centers and research universities in the United States, the legislation would allocate $ 10 billion for the creation of regional technology centers, aimed at strengthening public-private partnerships and supporting emerging researchers and others. workers.

“America’s technology-based economy needs all kinds of skilled professionals, and EFA will make sure we have them,” the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a group that had lobbied for the legislation, said in a statement. the acronym for the Endless Frontier Act.

The bill also provides a foreign policy roadmap for future engagement with China. He calls on the Biden administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for forced labor practices in and around Xinjiang, as well as the systemic rape and forced sterilization campaign perpetrated by the Chinese government against Uighur minorities in the region.

That legislation, passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, includes measures to counter intellectual property violations and calls for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Emily Cochrane Y Nicolas Fandos reports.

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