security

Biden, at ‘best meeting’ yet as president, talks semiconductors and security with Texans Cornyn and McCaul – The Dallas Morning News


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden called it one of his best meetings yet. And two Texas Republicans who joined him in the Oval Office on Wednesday praised his old school effort to bring leaders of both parties together on common ground – in this case, beefing up U.S. manufacture of semiconductors and other products key to the U.S. economy and security.

“It wasn’t some ceremonial outreach, photo op deal. This was a very substantive discussion about critical supply chain,” said Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin, the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, by phone after the meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed failings in the supply chain, with widespread shortages of medical grade masks and other protective equipment.

Lawmakers in both parties have been alarmed at how dependent the United States had become on China, in particular – not only the source of the outbreak but an economic and geopolitical rival.

Much of the Oval Office discussion centered on the CHIPS for America Act, which is intended to incentivize high tech research and manufacturing — to create jobs and ensure domestic production of products critical to the U.S. economy and national security.

The focus didn’t stray into anything contentious, such as the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package opposed by most Republicans, which allowed the meeting to play out as a potential template.

Biden was effusive. A deal-maker with friends in both parties during his decades in the Senate, he vowed to use his presidency to restore traditions of horse trading and the quest for common ground.

Read More   Know the security risks of CPaaS and communication APIs - TechTarget

“It’s the best meeting I think we’ve had so far, although we’ve only been here about five weeks,” he said afterward, at a ceremony to sign an executive order on supply chains. “It was like the old days. People actually are on the same page.”

McCaul said it was clear from the president’s approach to the meeting that “he wants to be bipartisan,” even if some aides and others in his party tug him leftward, on the relief bill and other issues.

“I do think in his heart of hearts he really wants to work together,” McCaul said. “He’s kind of yearning for that.”

The last encounter he recalled was when Biden was vice president, and they were both in Mexico City for a presidential inauguration.

“He took us under his wing,” McCaul said, adding that at the meeting Wednesday, “he remembered that. Very, very likable. Very humble…. You could tell his staff had briefed him.”

Sen. John Cornyn, a former No. 2 GOP Senate leader who remains close to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, sat in a place of honor in the Oval Office beside Vice President Kamala Harris.

He called it a “very positive” meeting.

“The president was very receptive, as was the vice president,” Cornyn told reporters outside the West Wing. “He said, ‘we’re all in.’ We all understand this is important, not only to our economy, but to our national security, because these cutting edge, high-end semiconductors – they operate on everything from the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter to our cell phones. So it was very positive.”

Read More   Take action against cyber-crime before it's too late - Techradar

The senator noted that China is building 17 semiconductor facilities, far outstripping the United States in building its manufacturing capacity.

The meeting included four Republicans besides the two Texans: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana and Rob Portman of Ohio, and Rep. John Joyce of Pennsylvania. And four Democrats: Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Rep. Doris Matsui of California, whose district includes Silicon Valley.

Before the meeting, McCaul had spoken with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, “and they understand the importance of rare earth minerals, medical supplies, semiconductor chips and the auto manufacturing industry.”

McCaul called it “refreshing. You get a chance to do something that has true bipartisan support, that’s good for America. And it’s good for national security and it will create jobs and manufacturing in the United States.”



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.