(FierceElectronics) China will figure large in how President-elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda impacts innovation and technology, including the electronics industry. On the technology front, President-elect Biden will be inheriting a complex scenario.
There is the recognition by many U.S. companies that the Chinese government supports a strong research program in quantum computing, which could eventually be used to break tough encryption used by the U.S. and other countries, giving China access to vital security information. Policy groups worry the U.S. is not funding quantum work as much as it should to keep up with China or other nation states.
To satisfy the U.S. electronics industry, Biden also will need to support efforts to prevent theft of intellectual property held by U.S. companies and oppose efforts to exert ownership control over emerging U.S. companies that wish to partner with Chinese firms.
In the long-term, the U.S. needs at least a clear-cut 25-year plan with financial teeth for growing technology in vital areas like quantum and AI to even begin to match China’s approach. Congressional bills like the CHIPS Act in Congress could help in that direction by implementing a refundable federal investment tax credit for construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities and equipment, However, even that doesn’t go far enough or last long enough through coming decades to compete with China.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation issued a report on Saturday describing Biden as on a very different than Trump.
“Biden is likely to focus on engaging government as a more active partner alongside industry in spurring innovation—but also as a tougher regulator of many tech industries and technologies,” said Robert Atkinson, ITIF’s president and lead author of the report, in a statement. “A simple way to frame the new administration’s likely program on tech, innovation and related trade policy is: more spending, more regulation, more multilateralism.
Biden’s “Made in all of America” plan calls for $300 billion in new funding over four years for R&D and breakthrough technologies like AI and quantum computing.