Pentagon officials are pressing lawmakers to back legislation to fund the domestic production of semiconductor chips, arguing it is essential for national security.
Ahead of a crucial vote in the Senate, the Department of Defense is lobbing members in both parties to back the bill by arguing it will help the U.S. keep up with China and other nations heavily investing in their own semiconductor industries.
The semiconductor shortage has been a “longstanding” issue for the Pentagon, said Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow and director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
“I think particularly for the department, it’s challenging because on one side, they rely on some very specific cutting-edge chips that are not commonly made,” Rasser said.
“But then they also have a heavy reliance on legacy chips. So, things that commercial enterprises don’t really continue to invest in just because it’s older technology,” he added.
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