Biden set to address global computer chip shortage with latest executive order

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Feb 24, 2021, 09:37 PM(IST)

Joe Biden Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The pandemic-induced scarcity will be the subject when Biden meets a bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

US President Joe Biden will on Wednesday sign an executive order, which stands to address a global semiconductor chip shortage that has forced American automakers and other manufacturers to cut production and alarmed the White House and members of Congress.

The pandemic-induced scarcity will be the subject when Biden meets a bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Administration officials said Biden's executive order, to be signed at 4:45 pm EST Wednesday, will launch an immediate 100-day review of supply chains for four critical products: semiconductor chips, large-capacity batteries for electric vehicles, rare earth minerals and pharmaceuticals.

The order will also direct six sector reviews -- modelled after the process used by the Defence Department to strengthen the defence industrial base. It will be focussed on the areas of defence, public health, communications technology, transportation, energy and food production.

The United States has been besieged by supply shortages since the onset of the pandemic, which squeezed the availability of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment, hurting frontline workers.

A group of US chip companies earlier in February urged Biden to provide "substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing" as part of his economic recovery and infrastructure plans. Last summer they supported bipartisan legislation to provide "tens of billions of dollars" to help pay for chip manufacturing and research.

Biden has been under pressure from Republican lawmakers to do more to protect American supply chains from China by investing in domestic manufacturing of next-generation semiconductor chips.

Under Biden's order, thereby, the White House will look to diversify the United States' supply chain dependence for specific products such as rare earth minerals from China.

(with inputs from agencies)

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