Virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and industry leaders to discuss investment in semiconductors
Washington, April 13 2021: In a virtual “summit”, President Joe Biden met with CEOs of GM, Google and Intel to discuss the semiconductor shortage. He said the US must build its own infrastructure of chips to prevent a future supply crisis.
President Biden stressed the fact that like the previous century, it was America’s turn to lead the world instead of waiting. He said the country needed to aggressively invest in areas of semconductors and batteries since that was the future for most industries.
The gathering, which is being led by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, comes as a shortage of semiconductors wreaks havoc on supply chains in several sectors.
To underscore the importance of the issue, the President addressed the issues of falling US auto manufacturing, with General Motors, Ford and other carmakers temporarily shuttering some factories or reducing production and also the concerns throughout the personal electronics universe, generating potentially higher prices for popular gadgets like game consoles and computer tablets.
The participants from across 19 companies, included, Mark Liu, executive chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, one of the lynchpins in the world’s supply for the vital electronic components. The White House said in a readout of the meeting that participants had “discussed the importance of encouraging additional semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States to make sure we never again face shortages.”
The event came on the heels of Biden’s February 24 executive order calling for a 100-day review across federal agencies on semiconductors and three other key items: pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and large capacity batteries. Policymakers are focused on building additional semiconductor capacity in the United States, but experts say there are limited remedies in the near-term.
Seeking to build a case for his $2Trillion infrastructure package, Biden also pointed to the semiconductor shortage. A White House handout last week on the infrastructure plan endorsed $50 billion for a new Commerce Department office to support production of critical goods and another $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research.
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