US President Joe Biden met with executives from key companies to discuss the global chip shortage affecting carmakers and prompting Intel Corp to announce that they have plans to produce chips for auto factories at its factories within the next six to nine months.
During his meeting on Monday, Biden said he had bipartisan support for the semiconductor industry funding law. Previously, he announced plans to invest $ 50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research as part of an effort to rebuild the US manufacturing industry under a $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan. .
The global chip shortage stems from a mix of factors as automakers, which shut down factories during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, compete with the consumer electronics industry. spread to supply chips. The second industry saw a boom as people spent more time at home.
Biden and his top advisers consider the semiconductor shortage “top and immediate priority,” the White House said after the meeting.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who mostly attended the meeting, told Reuters news agency that the company wants to start making chips at its factories within six to nine months to address the shortage, causing assembly lines at some American car factories to stop working.
Limited supply could lead to a potential shortfall of 1.3 million units in US automobile and light truck production this year.
“We hope that some of this can be reduced, not requiring factory construction in three or four years but maybe six months of new product certified on some of our existing processes, “Gelsinger said. “We have already initiated those commitments with a number of key component suppliers.”
Last month, Intel announced plans to scale up outside chip production while building new factories in the US and Europe. Its talks with auto suppliers revealed on Monday showed the acceleration of those plans.
The White House meeting included executives from 19 famous companies, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley and Chrysler’s CEO Stellantis NV, Carlos Tavares . White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Trade Minister Gina Raimondo also participated.
“Today I received a letter from 23 senators, bipartisan and 42 House members, Republicans and Democrats, supporting the chip program for America,” Biden said earlier in the session.
Executives from companies such as GlobalFoundries, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, AT&T, Samsung Electronics Co and Alphabet Inc – Google’s parent company also attended.
The participants emphasized the importance of enhancing transparency in the semiconductor supply chain to help minimize current shortages and improve demand forecasting to help prevent future challenges, The White House said in a statement.
They also discussed “the importance of encouraging more semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States to ensure that we never face a shortage again,” it added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters to have discussed short-term and long-term approaches to tackling the shortage of chips but no immediate decisions or announcements have been made from the meeting. .
According to an industry group, companies in broadband internet, mobile phones and cable TV also face delays in the reception of “network switches, routers and servers”.
Many semiconductor policymakers want to see the measure in an independent competition bill aimed at China, not as part of Biden’s infrastructure package, as it is now. . The China bill has some bipartisan backing and may have a faster path through Congress.
But exactly how semiconductor is spent and financed is a source of debate between automakers and other chip consumers, as well as the semiconductor companies themselves.
Automakers are trying to dedicate some of their money to car-grade chips, warning of a production shortfall if their industry doesn’t take priority.
However, other electronics manufacturers affected by a shortage of chips, such as computers and cell phones, have raised issues with the auto makers’ demand, worrying the industry. Their industry will be affected. Controversy was also a factor in the lead to the meeting at the White House.
Bloomberg, citing sources from people familiar with the matter, said the White House had not taken a public opinion on the matter but pointed out to semiconductor industry leaders privately that they would not. Special treatment for an industry.
This weekend, the Senate Trade Committee will hold the first hearing on a bipartisan measure to increase technology research and development efforts to address Chinese competition.
“Trying to tackle supply chains on a crisis-by-crisis basis creates serious national security loopholes,” said National Security Advisor Sullivan.