Senate Passes $280 Billion Industrial Policy Bill to Counter China

The trouble has marked a foray into industrial coverage that has had little precedent in latest American historical past, elevating myriad questions on how the Biden administration and Congress would implement and oversee a significant initiative involving a whole bunch of billions of taxpayer {dollars}.

The passage of the laws was the fruits of years of effort that in Mr. Schumer’s telling started within the Senate health club in 2019, when he approached Senator Todd Younger, Republican of Indiana, with the thought. Mr. Younger, a fellow China hawk, had beforehand collaborated with Democrats on international coverage.

Ultimately, the Senate assist was made potential solely by an unlikely collision of things: a pandemic that laid naked the prices of a world semiconductor scarcity, heavy lobbying from the chip trade, Mr. Younger’s persistence in urging his colleagues to interrupt with celebration orthodoxy and assist the invoice, and Mr. Schumer’s ascension to the highest job within the Senate.

Many senators, together with Republicans, noticed the laws as a crucial step to strengthen America’s semiconductor manufacturing talents because the nation has change into perilously reliant on international international locations — particularly an more and more susceptible Taiwan — for superior chips.

Mr. Schumer mentioned it had been not too troublesome to rally votes from Democrats, who are typically much less averse to authorities spending. However he additionally nodded to assist from Republicans, together with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority chief: “To their credit score, 17 Republicans, together with McConnell, got here in and mentioned, ‘That is one expenditure we should always make.’”

The laws, which was recognized in Washington by an ever-changing carousel of lofty-sounding names, has defied straightforward definition. At greater than 1,000 pages lengthy, it’s directly a analysis and improvement invoice, a near-term and long-term jobs invoice, a producing invoice and a semiconductors invoice.

Jay Carney, Amazon’s Top Policy Executive, to Join Airbnb

SEATTLE — Jay Carney, who was press secretary for former President Barack Obama, is leaving the highest coverage and public communications job at Amazon to affix Airbnb.

Airbnb mentioned in a weblog put up on Friday that Mr. Carney would change into its international head of coverage.

Mr. Carney, a former journalist at Time journal, joined Amazon in 2015 as its first senior vp of world affairs, combining public relations and authorities lobbying as the corporate confronted rising scrutiny. Mr. Carney fiercely protected Amazon’s picture and that of his boss, Jeff Bezos, one of many richest males on this planet.

Mr. Carney’s departure is certainly one of a number of adjustments atop Amazon a 12 months into the tenure of Andy Jassy, who succeeded Mr. Bezos as the corporate’s chief govt final July. Mr. Jassy, who beforehand constructed and ran Amazon’s cloud computing enterprise, is understood for his consideration and curiosity in particulars and has dug into components of the corporate which might be newly beneath his management.

Dave Clark, the architect of Amazon’s logistics enlargement, introduced final month that he was leaving earlier than a successor was named. John Felton, a transportation govt, changed Mr. Clark because the chief govt of Amazon’s retail and operations enterprise. Two of the corporate’s most senior Black executives, who have been Mr. Felton’s friends, additionally departed.

Mr. Jassy introduced Mr. Carney’s departure in an electronic mail to his senior management workforce, praising Mr. Carney for “his many vital accomplishments on behalf of Amazon’s clients and workers, for serving to us construct a powerful set of capabilities in Public Coverage and PR.” The New York Instances obtained the e-mail.

“Every thing about my time at Amazon has exceeded my expectations,” Mr. Carney mentioned in an electronic mail to his workforce on Friday, which was additionally obtained by The Instances. Mr. Carney didn’t present a remark when contacted on Thursday.

Amazon faces extra regulatory threats from governments around the globe now than at any time in its historical past. The Federal Commerce Fee, led by an Amazon critic, Lina Khan, is conducting a broad investigation into whether or not the corporate’s practices broke antitrust legislation. Lawmakers might also vote this 12 months on laws that will cease Amazon from prioritizing its personal merchandise, like batteries and trash baggage, over these offered by rivals in its on-line market.

Amazon’s public relations specialists and lobbyists have promoted the corporate as a signature employer and boon to native economies the place it operates. In 2018, the corporate introduced a minimal wage of $15 an hour, drawing reward from its frequent critic, Senator Bernie Sanders, unbiased of Vermont.

However Mr. Carney’s workforce received a black eye throughout Amazon’s seek for a second headquarters, when in 2018 it underestimated the progressive backlash it will face in doubtlessly constructing a serious presence in New York. Amazon finally reversed course and selected one other location.

Mr. Carney’s workforce additionally confronted criticism after an official Amazon Twitter account dismissed a congressman’s concern final 12 months that employees needed to urinate in bottles whereas on the job. The corporate apologized.

Extra just lately, Mr. Carney’s workforce has mounted a vigorous response to the antitrust laws, which Amazon has mentioned would make it troublesome to supply its signature quick transport of its Prime subscription service. The corporate spent roughly $9.1 million on federal lobbying in 2015. Final 12 months, it spent $19.3 billion.

Drew Herdener, who heads public relations beneath Mr. Carney, was promoted to senior vp on Thursday, based on 4 folks with information of the interior announcement. The communications workforce has grown from 10 folks to “a number of hundred,” Mr. Herdener mentioned in an interview final fall, including that Amazon had employed 200 communications professionals within the earlier 12 months alone.

As the corporate searches for a brand new head of world affairs, Mr. Herdener will report on to Mr. Jassy, and the coverage groups will report back to David Zapolsky, the final counsel, based on the e-mail.

Airbnb has been searching for its personal head of coverage and communications after Chris Lehane, a former aide to Invoice Clinton, left for a cryptocurrency enterprise capital fund earlier this 12 months.

Erin Griffith contributed reporting.

Biden Signs Industrial Policy Bill Aimed at Bolstering Competition With China

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Tuesday signed into law a sprawling $280 billion bill aimed at bolstering American chip manufacturing to address global supply chain issues and counter the rising influence of China, part of a renewed effort by the White House to galvanize its base around a recent slate of legislative victories.

Standing before business leaders and lawmakers in the Rose Garden, Mr. Biden said the bill was proof that bipartisanship in Washington could produce legislation that would build up a technology sector, lure semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States and eventually create thousands of new American jobs.

“Fundamental change is taking place today, politically, economically and technologically,” Mr. Biden said. “Change that can either strengthen our sense of control and security, of dignity and pride in our lives and our nation, or change that weakens us.”

The bipartisan compromise showed a rare consensus in a deeply divided Washington, reflecting the sense of urgency among both Republicans and Democrats for an industrial policy that could help the United States compete with China. Seventeen Republicans voted for the bill in the Senate, while 24 Republicans supported it in the House.

While Republicans have long resisted intervening in global markets and Democrats have criticized pouring taxpayer funds into private companies, global supply chain shortages exacerbated by the pandemic exposed just how much the United States had come to rely on foreign countries for advanced semiconductor chips used in technologies as varied as electric vehicles and weapons sent to aid Ukraine.

In a sign of how Beijing’s rise drove the negotiations for the legislation, Mr. Biden explicitly mentioned China multiple times during his remarks at the bill-signing ceremony.

“It’s no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied U.S. business against this bill,” the president said, adding that the United States must lead the world in semiconductor production.

The bill is focused on domestic manufacturing, research and national security, providing $52 billion in subsidies and tax credits for companies that manufacture chips in the United States. It also includes $200 billion for new manufacturing initiatives and scientific research, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing and other technologies.

The legislation authorizes and funds the creation of 20 “regional technology hubs” that are intended to link together research universities with private industry in an effort to advance technology innovation in areas lacking such resources. And it provides funding to the Energy Department and the National Science Foundation for basic research into semiconductors and for building up work force development programs.

“We will bring these jobs back to our shores and end our dependence on foreign chips,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, who pumped his fists as he stepped toward the lectern.

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Mr. Schumer, who helped spearhead the measure, at one point hinted at the yearslong quest to secure its passage when he noted that it had once been called the Endless Frontier Act — one of a handful of names for the bill as it made its way through Congress.

“I still love that name,” Mr. Schumer said.

“I’ve always said that Democrats would be ready to work with Republicans when possible,” he added. “And at today’s signing, we celebrate such an accomplishment.”

Democrats are hoping that the passage of the industrial policy legislation and a few other notable bills, along with falling gas prices, can help drive a turnaround for the party ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November. Democrats have faced a bleak outlook heading into the fall, with Mr. Biden suffering from dismal approval numbers amid soaring inflation and painful prices at the pump.

Mr. Biden is planning to sign a bill on Wednesday that would expand medical care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits on military bases, another measure that Congress approved with bipartisan support. And on Friday, the House is expected to pass the climate, health and tax bill that cleared the Senate over the weekend, handing the president a legislative triumph that he and Democratic candidates can highlight in the weeks to come.

The effort to promote the recent series of victories comes after Mr. Biden was forced to isolate during a bout with Covid-19, followed by a rebound case. He left isolation on Sunday and then traveled on Monday to meet with survivors of the severe flooding in Kentucky, his first work trip since testing positive for the virus on July 21.

At the ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Biden had a persistent cough during his remarks in the Rose Garden. White House officials said he had tested negative for the virus on Monday and again on Tuesday morning, extending his streak of negative tests to four consecutive days.

Mr. Biden’s aides are now planning to drum up support around the recent legislative successes by dispatching cabinet officials across the country to draw attention to the measures — though there is no guarantee that their efforts will reshape the political dynamics heading into the November elections.

“There were ups and downs, and it was a long path to get here,” Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, said at the ceremony. “And the president said don’t give up. Don’t give up. Keep going.”