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Biden admin plans investigation into US semiconductor supply chains amid shortages


Last week we saw Intel, Qualcomm and more US chipmakers urge President Biden to make a major investment to rejuvenate domestic semiconductor production. With the backdrop of a global chip shortage and US tension with China, Biden is expected to ask his administration to start a review of important US supply chains “including semiconductors, high-capacity batteries and rare earth metals” with an upcoming executive order.

Reported by CNBC, the upcoming review of “key U.S. supply chains” is aiming to investigate “gaps in domestic manufacturing and supply chains that are dominated by or run through ‘nations that are or are likely to become unfriendly or unstable.’”

The report notes that the current wording of the yet to be made executive order from Biden doesn’t specifically name China. However, the review is certainly looking to get a better idea of how dependent the US is on exports from the country.

Last week amid the global chip shortage, Intel, Qualcomm and other US chipmakers urged President Biden to include “substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing” in his infrastructure and economic recovery plans. And just hours, later the Biden admin was said to be “working aggressively” on the chip shortage.

This review of crucial US supply chains is likely the first step in the administration’s work on that.

The assessment, which will be led by members of both Biden’s economic and national security teams, will analyze the “resiliency and capacity of the American manufacturing supply chains and defense industrial base to support national security [and] emergency preparedness,” according to a draft of an executive order seen by CNBC.

As we previously noted, Apple’s chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) just recently raised $9 billion worth of debt to expand its production capacity.

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