Pallone Floor Statement on the America COMPETES Act
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor today during consideration of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act:
Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong support of the America COMPETES Act – legislation that restores a strong and robust American manufacturing base that can outcompete any other nation. It will put us on course to lead the pack in creating the strongest and most advanced economy of the future.
Over the past 40 years, America’s manufacturing sector has lost market share to economic competitors like China. This decline in manufacturing, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to severe supply chain disruptions across our economy.
The America COMPETES Act will strengthen our economy by bolstering our nation’s supply chains and ensuring that more critical goods are made right here in the United States.
The legislation invests $45 billion in grants, loans, and loan guarantees to support supply chain resilience and manufacturing of critical goods, industrial equipment, and manufacturing technology here in the U.S.
It invests $52 billion for the CHIPS for America Act – incentivizing private-sector investments in superconductor fabrication in the U.S. This funding will help eliminate disruptions in the superconductor supply chain from abroad that has hurt American automakers, medical supply chain companies, and manufacturers of heavy machinery.
It invests $3 billion to help build a domestic solar manufacturing supply chain so we can aggressively counter China’s control of the solar chain that jeopardizes our energy security interests. The bill also keeps our electric grid secure and resilient in the face of evolving cybersecurity and physical security threats.
The America COMPETES Act also improves our medical product supply chain and strengthens our strategic national stockpile. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were widespread shortages of essential medicines, medical supplies, and some personal protective equipment.
This legislation increases our domestic drug manufacturing base by expanding the use of advanced and continuous manufacturing practices. It also establishes a $1.5 billion supply chain manufacturing pilot program that will help maintain domestic reserves of critical medical supplies. And it creates a $10.5 billion program that awards grants to states to expand or maintain a strategic stockpile of products essential in the event of a public health emergency.
Finally, the America COMPETES Act innovates our wireless supply chain and network security by funding the deployment of cutting-edge technology and ensuring that next-generation mobile wireless networks and technologies are safe and secure from foreign adversaries.
Mr. Speaker, for too long, America has relied too heavily on other nations to manufacture critical goods essential to our economy. That must end, and the America COMPETES Act makes the investments to ensure that America can outcompete any other nation – now and well into the future. I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.