President Joe Biden is seeking $37 billion in funding in order to bolster the United States’ semiconductor chip manufacturing capabilities and help address the ongoing microchip supply shortage.
A global shortage of semiconductor chips, which are widely used in the various electric systems in modern-day automobiles, has hampered production output across the industry in recent weeks. GM has been forced to cut production at a number of its facilities due to the supply constraints, including its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas and San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico, among others.
Now the Biden administration is looking to get out in front of the issue. In addition to seeking $37 billion in funding, president Biden also signed a new executive order directing his government to take action to address the global microchip shortage.
“I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industrial leaders to identify solutions to the semiconductor shortfall,” Biden said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters. “Congress has authorized a bill but they need $37 billion to make sure that we have this capacity. I’ll push for that as well.”
The executive order also includes a 100-day review of supply chains for large-capacity batteries for electric vehicles and the rare earth minerals that are used in the batteries. Lawmakers have been pushing the Biden admin to set up stronger domestic manufacturing for the semiconductor chips, the vast majority of which are currently made in Taiwan and China.
GM rival Ford, which has also been hit hard by the microchip shortage, praised the administration’s actions in a statement released this week, saying addressing the issue is “incredibly important for our labor force, our customers and our business that we have a commitment to end this shortage as soon as possible.”