Semiconductor Summit Held At White House Amid Shortages : NPR

President Biden holds a semiconductor while speaking before signing an ordinance on business in the White House on February 24. On Monday, senior members of his team will meet with executives from various industries to discuss a semiconductor shortage. Doug Mills / Pool / Getty Images Hide caption

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Doug Mills / Pool / Getty Images

President Biden holds a semiconductor while speaking before signing an ordinance on business in the White House on February 24. On Monday, senior members of his team will meet with executives from various industries to discuss a semiconductor shortage.

Doug Mills / Pool / Getty Images

President Biden’s senior national security and economic advisors are trying to address a critical supply crisis that is slowing U.S. auto manufacturing and, according to experts, threatens other sectors, including national security.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimodo will meet with executives from 19 companies to discuss the growing shortage of semiconductors, a key component of many computerized electronics.

The shortage affects almost all industries, but US automakers are particularly hard hit. General Motors, Ford and Stellantis (merged with Fiat Chrysler) have temporarily closed all auto plantsas companies wait for more shipments of the parts needed for increasingly computerized automobiles.

The White House Summit, which will be held virtually, will include these three companies as well as computer companies like Dell and HP. AT & T; Alphabet, the parent company of Google; and defense firm Northrop Grumman among others. President Biden plans a brief attendance.

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President Biden already had ordered a review It’s about what the federal government can do to move more semiconductor manufacturing to the US and make existing utility lines more resilient. He also held a bipartisan meeting in February where the president discussed the deal between Republicans and Democrats that the semiconductor shortage must be addressed.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to talk about long-term solutions to address this issue,” said John Nueffer, general manager of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

“In 1990, [the U.S.] manufactured approximately 37% of the world’s semiconductors. Now we only produce 12%, “said Nueffer.” This is a weak point in the supply chain that has been significantly alleviated over the past year. “

Demand for new cars has increased due to low interest rates and has pent-up demand during the pandemic, exacerbating the problem for automakers. Daleep Singh, deputy national security advisor and deputy director of the National Economic Council, told NPR that the Biden administration sees the shortage as a much broader national security problem.

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“Semiconductors are critical to most of the new technologies you can list,” he said. “They are civil and military in their purpose. Pharmaceuticals, space, but also weapon systems and their satellites. So here’s the problem: 100 percent today – all the most advanced semiconductors are made in East Asia and more than 90 percent by one company. That is.” a critical vulnerability. “

Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan includes $ 50 billion to establish a new office within the commercial division to coordinate domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Biden has also supported legislation spending the same amount of money to expedite this transition.

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