Long considered a Beltway backwater, the Commerce Department has become one of the central stages of national security policymaking. With the announcement that it would begin accepting applications for $52 billion in semiconductor subsidies that Congress approved last year as part of the bipartisan CHIPS Act, the department’s weight as a major player in American national security is growing. Commerce Secretary Raimondo says the CHIPS Act is “a historic opportunity to unleash the next generation of American innovation, protect our national security, and preserve our global economic competitiveness. The CHIPS Act is intended to dramatically grow the United States’ manufacturing base for semiconductors.” I have written more on this subject here.
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