White House convening summit with top execs on chip shortage

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WASHINGTON – Almost 20 major companies worried about a global semiconductor chip shortage that has roiled the automotive industry will send senior executives to a White House summit on Monday (April 12), a senior official said on Friday.

Reuters reported earlier the summit is expected to include General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra and Ford Motor Chief Executive Jim Farley.

The White House official confirmed the three largest US automakers, including Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV will attend, as will executives from GlobalFoundries, PACCAR , NXP and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

The White House meeting is billed as the “CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience” and will include White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese.

As of midday Friday, 19 major companies had agreed to send executives.

TSMC confirmed it had received the invitation, but offered no other details. The company, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, has repeatedly said it is hard to address the global chip shortage.

Deese said in a statement the “summit reflects the urgent need to strengthen critical supply chains.” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will also take part.

A US auto industry group this week urged the US to help and warned that a global semiconductor shortage could result in 1.28 million fewer vehicles built this year and disrupt production for another six months.

Also taking part are AT&T, Samsung, Google-parent Alphabet, Dell Technologies, Intel Corp, Medtronic, Northrop Grumman , HP Cummins and Micron.

“Trying to address supply chains on a crisis-by-crisis basis creates critical national security vulnerabilities,” Sullivan said in a statement.

Broadband internet, cellphone and cable TV companies also face delays in receiving “network switches, routers, and servers. … Shortages in semiconductors and the associated delays will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in impact to the broadband and cable television industry this year,” an industry group said this week.

President Joe Biden wants at least US$100 billion (S$134 billion) to boost US semiconductor production and fund to support production of critical goods, but officials said this funding will not address short-term chip needs.

On Thursday GM and Ford both announced new vehicle production cuts on Thursday.

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