Friday 26 February 2021 8:02 pm

US governors urge Biden to pressure semiconductor firms on global shortage of automotive chips

Staff writer

A bipartisan group of eight governors from U.S. automotive states urged President Joe Biden today to do more to press semiconductor firms to address a global shortage of automotive chips that has cut some vehicle production.

Governors of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri co-wrote a letter to Biden asking him to join foreign governments in putting pressure on semiconductor and wafer companies.

The governors want these companies to expand their production and “temporarily reallocate a modest portion of their current production to auto-grade wafer production.”

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Automakers hit by the shortage of automotive chips include General Motors Co., Ford Motors Co., Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Stellantis and Subaru Corp.

Ford said a lack of chips could cut its production by 20 per cent in the first quarter and lower the company’s earnings by $1bn.

Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan led the effort to pressure the president, and said she was urging Biden “to do everything in his power to leave no stone unturned to protect auto jobs throughout the supply chain at risk because of this shortage.”

The White House did not comment immediately, but auto executives met with White House officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

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