President Biden on Wednesday signed, as expected, an executive order that paves the way for allocation of $37 billion federal government investment to address the chip supply shortfall.
Industry reaction has been positive with both the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) immediately issuing statements showing relief that the President sees the industry as crucial to the nation.
In his speech at the signing of executive order on supply chains, President Biden said, “This is about making sure the United States can meet every challenge we face in this new era — pandemics, but also in defense, cybersecurity, climate change, and so much more. And the best way to do that is by protecting and sharpening America’s competitive edge by investing here at home.”
He highlighted how the shortage of semiconductors had caused delays in production of automobiles that also resulted in reduced hours for American workers. Marveling at the chip he held up, he said, “This semiconductor is smaller than a postage stamp, but it has more than 8 billion transistors —10,000 times thinner than a single human hair in this one chip. These chips are a wonder of innovation and design that powers so much of our country, enables so much of our modern lives to go on — not just our cars, but our smartphones, televisions, radios, medical diagnostic equipment, and so much more.”
Addressing the issue of shortages, he added, “We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable. I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industrial leaders to identify solutions to this semiconductor shortfall and work very hard with the House and Senate. They’ve authorized the bill, but they need $37 billion, short term, to make sure we have this capacity. We’ll push for that as well. But we all recognize that the particular problem won’t be solved immediately.”
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