On Monday, a collection of tech and auto industry executives met with the White House to discuss solutions to chip shortages around the world.
The CEOs of Google, Intel, HP, Dell, Ford and General Motors attended the virtual summit on semiconductors and provided flexibility in supply chains. The meeting was hosted by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo and National Economic Council Director Brian Desse, which was also briefly attended by President Biden.
Ahead of the summit, Intel chief executive Pat Gelssinger said he hoped the US could increase its semiconductor production, discussing to include a third of all chips sold at US Intel, in particular. To make chips designed for automakers within their facilities, a project that may take little pressure off the supply lines.
The ongoing shortage of small, high-tech components used in everything from car entertainment systems to smartphones has increased supply. Consumers have been feeling it for months. The increasing demand has made new gaming consoles and graphics cards rare, even months after some of those devices were released. But with semiconductors in devices these days, supply shortages are disrupting industries beyond gaming.
President Biden signed an executive order on supply issues in February. That order led to a 100-day review of supply chains for semiconductors, as well as advanced batteries found in electric vehicles, key minerals required for technical products, and pharmaceuticals and their ingredients.
Biden said the chip shortage has “delayed automobile productions and resulted in reduced hours for American workers.” He also cited a shortage of supplies for PPE during the early months of the epidemic, when many health workers were forced to work without proper protection.
The order also conducts a lengthy review with industry leaders, who will seek solutions that can be implemented to address current time series issues.
Supply chain issues for tech components also highlight tensions with China, a fact that makes Sullivan’s presence clear at the White House summit. Biden cited concerns about “long-term competitiveness” as an inspiration for key technical components to undergo a major audit of supply chains.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) called the shortfall “a national security issue as well as an economic one”, citing the need for semiconductors in defense technology.
Warner has emphasized the need for legislative solutions that would drive the US toward self-sufficiency and push back on China’s influence towards the semiconductor production bill introduced last summer by Cemi Johnson Cornyn (R-TX) Indicates.
Biden previously said that the administration would work towards resolving the current shortage of critical chips and would lean on political allies to “boost production to help solve the hurdles we now face”.