Biden to meet with CEOs on semiconductor shortage

New York (AFP) –


President Joe Biden will meet virtually with the CEOs of some of America's biggest computer and auto companies Monday for crisis talks on the global shortage of semiconductors that is hobbling car manufacturing.

The White House said Biden will briefly join the meeting on "semiconductor and supply chain resilience," which is being led by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo.

Coming in over video link will be chief executives from giant companies including General Motors, Ford, Northrup Grumman, Alphabet/Google, and US semiconductor powerhouse Intel.

In all, 19 company bosses are listed as attending, also including Mark Liu, executive chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the lynchpins in the world's supply for the vital electronic components.

Biden administration officials also intend to make a case for the president's $2 trillion infrastructure package.

A White House handout last week on the infrastructure plan endorsed $50 billion for a new Commerce Department office to support production of critical goods and backed congressional legislation to invest another $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research.

The crunch in semiconductors has badly dented US auto manufacturing, with General Motors, Ford and other carmakers temporarily shuttering some factors or reducing production.

The shortage has also raised worries throughout the personal electronics universe, generating potentially higher prices for popular gadgets like game consoles and computer tablets.