Biden Touts Infrastructure Proposal in Chip Shortage Meeting
By Alex Leary
WASHINGTON -- President Biden called for a bipartisan push to
strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry during a meeting with
auto and tech executives that he used to pitch his $2.3 trillion
"I've been saying for some time now, China and the rest of the
world is not waiting," Mr. Biden said Monday afternoon. "And
there's no reason why Americans should wait. We're investing
aggressively in areas like semiconductors and batteries; that's
what they're doing and others, so must we."
Mr. Biden spoke during a meeting between top administration
officials and senior executives of Ford Motor Co., General Motors
Co., Intel Corp., Alphabet Inc. and others to address the global
chip shortage that has led to production slowdowns with auto
manufacturing and other industries. The executives appeared via
Chips are used across an array of industries -- in autos,
software is used to control everything from brakes to air bags --
and supply has dwindled with growing demand for products as
Covid-19 has shifted work and entertainment habits.
Mr. Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal includes $50
billion for the American semiconductor industry, whose lobbying
efforts have gained momentum amid the shortage and fears that China
might be overtaking the U.S. in a critical technology. The
president said semiconductors, along with things like expanding
broadband, are critical infrastructure.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan, who participated in the
meeting, has said the shortage creates national security
The semiconductor money in Mr. Biden's proposal would go toward
building factories and research and design and has bipartisan
support. The overall infrastructure package has drawn GOP
opposition for its cost and because it would be funded through
higher taxes on companies.
The U.S. has lost ground on semiconductors to other countries,
such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. The Semiconductor
Industry Association said the U.S. share of global semiconductor
manufacturing has fallen to 12% today from 37% in 1990, primarily
because of government subsidies to global competitors that make it
harder to attract new construction in the U.S.
More than a dozen companies' leaders planned to join the
meeting. They include Samsung Electronics Co., Dell Technologies
Inc., Micron Technology Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp., Taiwan
Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., AT&T Inc. and Cummins Inc.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said no announcements or
decisions were expected Monday, calling it part of ongoing
engagement to address the problem.
Write to Alex Leary at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 12, 2021 15:02 ET (19:02 GMT)
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