February 10, 2023

Biden Brings Semiconductors to the Forefront of Americans’ Minds

President Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address brought semiconductors to the forefront of the nation’s attention. Heightened U.S.-China relations, widespread chip shortages, and the weaponization of supply chains for geopolitical purposes have moved semiconductors to the top of U.S. policymakers’ agenda for the first time in decades. On Feb. 7, President Biden attempted to convince the American people that they too should care about the semiconductor industry. Adding to a series of recent semiconductor initiatives, Biden’s SOTU address made chip issues personal for everyday Americans in a clear effort to solicit public support for the administration’s technology agenda.

Public support will be a crucial component of any successful American technology strategy.

Biden’s first reference to semiconductors was made just 10 minutes into the address, explaining them in nontechnical terms as “small computer chips the size of a fingerprint.” Rather than highlighting semiconductors’ importance to advanced electronic warfare systems, autonomous drones, the Javelin missiles that have undermined Russian tanks in the Russia-Ukraine war, or other aspects of national defense, Biden stressed that chips power the consumer products on which Americans depend, “from cellphones to automobiles and so much more.” Chips, in other words, fuel economic prosperity and everyday American life.

Read the full article from Lawfare.

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