The ongoing global microchip shortage continues to have a profound impact on General Motors’ production capabilities, forcing the automaker to reduce the availability of critical features, as well as halt production outright for a selection of models. Now, to help address the shortage, the Biden Administration is pushing congress to pass a new $52 billion microchip production bill.
Per a recent report from Reuters, the bill, dubbed the “America Competes” act, will work to boost domestic chip production and investment, as well as increase technology research capacity.
Last year, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which included $52 billion for domestic microchip production, as well as $190 billion for technology and research to boost U.S. competitiveness with China.
Comparatively speaking, the House bill includes several key differences from the Senate bill, such as exclusion of the $190 billion for technology development and research. However, the Senate bill does include $45 billion to support the supply chain, plus manufacturing.
According to the House, the funding could be used to “relocate a manufacturing facility out of countries of concern, including countries that pose a significant economic or national security threat to the United States.” Additionally, funding could be used to create stockpiles of critical microchip components and work to alleviate future shortages.
The House will take up the bill next week.
President Joe Biden said that the proposals are representative of the “transformational investments in our industrial base and research and development” which helped to drive U.S. global economic leadership through the 20th century.
Meanwhile, as the broader automotive industry continues to struggle with the microchip shortage, General Motors is working to develop its own family of microcontrollers in order to “develop an ecosystem that is much more resilient, more scalable and always there to meet our needs,” per GM president Mark Reuss. GM expects automotive semiconductor requirements to more than double in the next few years as new EVs and vehicle technologies come to market.