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Biden to announce new support for US biotech production

Published:Wednesday 12:07 AM

US President Joe Biden speaks before boarding Air Force One at Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, September 9, 2022, after attending a groundbreaking for a new Intel computer chip facility in New Albany, Ohio.

President of the United Joe Biden is launching a new initiative to encourage biotech production and research in the United States, the latest move by the White House to boost domestic industry.

Biden on Monday signed an executive order implementing the initiative and later, in remarks at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, was scheduled address how biotech can help fight cancer. Today, Wednesday, the Democratic president’s administration was scheduled to host a summit and announce new investments from several federal agencies, according to a White House fact sheet.

The initiative will seek to boost biomanufacturing in pharmaceuticals but also in other industries such as agriculture, plastics and energy. A senior administration official wouldn’t say how much funding would be announced.

Biomanufacturing processes can programme microbes to make speciality chemicals and compounds, the fact sheet said. Biomanufacturing can be used to make alternatives to oil-based chemicals, plastics and textiles.

The executive order follows bipartisan legislation Biden signed last month that provided US$52 billion to subsidise the production of semiconductors, construction of new chip plants and research and development in the United States.

That legislation was intended to reduce the US economy’s reliance on semiconductors made overseas, particularly in Taiwan, and to respond to greater efforts by China to develop its own chip industry.

Biden touted the benefits of the semiconductor law on Friday, in a stop in Columbus, Ohio, where chip giant Intel has broken ground on a new US$20 billion factory.

The administration official, who wasn’t authorised to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity, said the White House wants to support manufacturing biotech products that are developed in the US, rather than seeing American innovations produced abroad.

The official said that the administration was aiming to expand domestic biomanufacturing capacity and that other countries, especially China, have been aggressively investing in the sector, posing risks to US leadership and competitiveness.


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