The White House convened a meeting of executives Monday to discuss semiconductor supply chains amid a global chip shortage. President Biden seized the moment to put in place his $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, in part aimed at bolstering domestic high-tech manufacturing.
“China and the rest of the world are not waiting, and there is no reason Americans should wait,” Biden said.
Once he held up a silicon wafer and said, “This is infrastructure.”
What the White House dubbed the “Virtual CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience” attended the meeting, including executives from AT&T, Ford Motor, General Motors, Google, Intel, Samsung and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The meeting was closed to the news media except for a brief part when Mr Biden made remarks.
The global semiconductor shortage has disrupted automobile production in the US and elsewhere, underscoring both a short-term and long-term challenge for the Biden government, with economic and national security implications.
Mr Biden faces an immediate need to help automakers source goods. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the president wanted to “hear directly from companies about the implications of what would help them most at this time”.
In the long term, Mr. Biden is faced with the task of strengthening chip manufacturing in the USA. This is part of his desire to expand domestic production in critical areas and reduce the risk of key product shortages in the country.
In February, Mr Biden signed an executive order directing his administration to conduct a 100-day review of supply chains for semiconductors and various other types of critical goods.
Its infrastructure plan also aims to strengthen supply chains for chips and other critical products.
It includes $ 50 billion to research and manufacture semiconductors and another $ 50 billion to set up an office in the commercial division focused on the country’s industrial capacity and support in manufacturing critical products. That also includes $ 50 billion for the National Science Foundation, where Mr. Biden would set up a technology directorate focused on areas like semiconductors.