US President Joe Biden to sign executive order to address global computer chip shortage

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US President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday aimed toward addressing a global semiconductor chip shortage that has pressured U.S. automakers and different producers to reduce manufacturing and alarmed the White House and members of Congress, administration officers stated.

The shortage, exacerbated by the pandemic, would be the topic when Biden meets with a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to focus on the difficulty. Administration officers stated Biden’s executive order, to be signed at 4:45 p.m. EST (2145 GMT) on Wednesday, will launch a right away 100-day evaluate of provide chains for 4 important merchandise: semiconductor chips, large-capacity batteries for electrical automobiles, uncommon earth minerals and prescribed drugs.

The order will even direct six sector opinions — modelled after the method utilized by the Defence Department to strengthen the defence industrial base. It can be targeted on the areas of defence, public well being, communications know-how, transportation, vitality and meals manufacturing.

The United States has been besieged by provide shortages for the reason that onset of the pandemic, which squeezed the supply of masks, gloves and different private protecting gear, hurting frontline employees. The chip shortage, which in some instances is forcing automakers to take workers off manufacturing strains, is the newest instance of provide bottlenecks hurting American employees. “Make no mistake, we’re not simply planning to order up reports. We are planning to take actions to close gaps as we identify them,” the administration official added.

A bunch of U.S. chip corporations earlier this month urged Biden to present “substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing” as a part of his financial restoration and infrastructure plans.

Last summer season they supported bipartisan laws to present “tens of billions of dollars” to assist pay for chip manufacturing and analysis. The chip shortage has rapidly grown into a serious headache for the White House. Ford Motor Co lately stated an absence of chips might reduce the corporate’s manufacturing by up to 20% within the first quarter whereas General Motors stated it was pressured to reduce output at factories within the United States, Canada and Mexico and would reassess its manufacturing plans in mid-March. U.S. semiconductor companies account for 47% of global chip gross sales however solely 12% of manufacturing as a result of they’ve outsourced a lot of the manufacturing abroad, in accordance to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

In 1990, the U.S. accounted for 37% of global semiconductor manufacturing. Biden, a Democrat, has been beneath stress from Republican
lawmakers to do extra to shield American provide chains from China by investing in home manufacturing of next-generation semiconductor chips.

“I strongly urge Biden administration to prioritize protecting emerging and critical technologies, like semiconductors, from the grasp of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party),” U.S. Representative Michael McCaul wrote in a current letter to the White House from Republicans on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Under Biden’s order, the White House will look to diversify the United States’ provide chain dependence for particular merchandise reminiscent of uncommon earth minerals from China. It will look to develop a few of that manufacturing within the United States and associate with different international locations in Asia and Latin America when it can’t produce such merchandise at house, the official stated.

The evaluate will even take a look at limiting imports of sure supplies and practice U.S. employees to ramp up manufacturing at house. The provide chain executive order will add to Biden’s vow in January to leverage the buying energy of the U.S. authorities, the world’s largest single purchaser of products and providers, to strengthen home manufacturing and create markets for brand spanking new applied sciences.

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