Daily Management Review

White House Asks American And Other Companies To Provide Information On Chips


On Thursday, the White House pushed automakers, chip firms, and others to share information on the ongoing semiconductor crisis, which has caused production cuts in the United States, and to take the lead in resolving it.
Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, and Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, met with semiconductor sector leaders on Thursday and told Reuters that forceful action was required. "It's time to get more assertive," she declared. "The situation is not improving; in some respects, it is deteriorating." more info
Participants at Thursday's conference, which came after discussions in April and May, included Detroit's Big Three automakers, as well as Apple, Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW, GlobalFoundries, Micron, Microsoft, Samsung, TSMC, Intel and Ampere Computing.
According to the White House, the government "reaffirmed that industry must take the lead in overcoming supply chain constraints caused by the worldwide chip shortfall."
Raimondo stated on Thursday that a voluntary request for information on the chip problem within 45 days will increase supply chain openness and "get more granular into the bottlenecks and then eventually forecast challenges before they arise."
If the firms did not revert back with a response to the voluntary request "then we have other tools in our tool box that require them to give us data. I hope we don't get there. But if we have to we will," she warned.
Automobile manufacturers ranging from General Motors Co to Toyota Motor Corp to Chrysler parent Stellantis NV have reduced output and sales estimates owing to limited chip supplies, which have been exacerbated by a Covid-19 revival in major Asian semiconductor production centres.
Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares, who attended the White House virtual conference, stated that the carmaker will cooperate with the information request, but that "wide cooperation throughout the whole semiconductor supply chain will be crucial for these efforts to be successful."
In a statement issued following the meeting, TSMC stated that the firm was assisting and collaborating with all stakeholders to solve the shortages and that it had taken "unprecedented steps to address this challenge."
"We are confident that our capacity expansion plan including the advanced 5nm semiconductor fab in Phoenix, Arizona - one of the largest foreign direct investments in U.S. history - will enable us to support the industry in driving long-term stability in semiconductor supplies," it said.
In the face of a worldwide shortage, TSMC has committed to invest $100 billion over the next three years to boost chip production.
Some delegates privately told Reuters that they were concerned that the transparency requirements would necessitate releasing price information, which many firms consider to be company secrets.
Raimondo also privately informed the firms that the government would compel information exchange if required.
The White House also stated that a new early warning system will be managed by various US departments "to proactively manage possible semiconductor supply chain problems connected to public health events in major trade partners."
According to one participant, participants were concerned about how to provide such information while still complying with the reporting obligations of publicly listed firms.