White House to bring chip companies together amid Delta disruptions

(Bloomberg) – The Biden administration plans to call another meeting with companies in the semiconductor supply chain next week, as the global spread of the delta variant of Covid-19 causes more and more disruption and production delays.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who served as President Joe Biden’s point of contact for this effort, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese will lead the September 23 discussions at the White House, according to a senior official with administration.

The list of attendees has not been finalized, but invited companies will include chipmakers as well as companies that use them to make products including automobiles, consumer electronics and medical devices.

The goal of the meeting is to further improve transparency and continue efforts to engage with allies, the official said. The administration plans to tell businesses the government needs their help to ease bottlenecks that have persisted for months, the official said.

The global shortage of microprocessor chips that power everything from laptops to automobiles has continued to affect production in many industries, and finding medium- and long-term solutions has been a priority from Biden’s office.

Related: 3M Doubles Estimated Car Production Drop Due To Chip Shortage

While the administration has focused on returning manufacturing to the United States, officials have also recognized that production needs to be diversified and complemented with efforts in allied countries.

The meeting will be the third of its kind that Raimondo is organizing. In April, Biden joined discussions with CEOs about the shortage and possible remedies.

The summons comes as there is no clear path in Congress for $ 52 billion in funding for national semiconductor research and manufacturing. The money, which is part of a larger competition bill in China, was approved by the Senate in June but has since been stuck in the House.

Raimondo, the White House legislative affairs office, as well as members of the National Security Council and the National Economic Council recently met with House and Senate leaders and continue to work with relevant committees to align with the way forward on the financing and competitiveness bill. , said the official.

Legislative push

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that advancing the legislation is “a priority and is part of the discussion senior White House officials are having with congressional leaders as we speak about what we want to do in the coming months “.

As part of the next meeting, the Commerce Department will create a formal process to increase transparency through surveys that seek information from companies along the supply chain. Raimondo has focused on increasing information sharing between industries, but this effort has met with reluctance from those who do not want the government to be involved in supply and demand issues.

The supply crunch featured on a recent trip Vice President Kamala Harris took to Singapore and Vietnam. The White House has worked with countries like Malaysia and Vietnam that are home to semiconductor manufacturing capabilities and have battled Covid-19 outbreaks, ensuring countries can safely continue operations at reduced capacity.

The semiconductor industry is also pushing for a separate measure that would offer tax credits to companies that invest in semiconductor factories, as they are called, in the United States. part of other legislative vehicles.

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