Today, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese convened semiconductor industry participants and discussed the progress industry has made to address supply chain challenges and increase supply chain transparency, following the convenings hosted by the Administration in April and May. The progress includes improved communication and trust across the supply chain and improvements in the supply chain practices of chip consumers.
The Administration reaffirmed that industry needs to be in the lead in resolving the supply chain bottlenecks that are occurring due to the global chip shortage. Industry reiterated its commitment to transparency initiatives, which will help keep Americans at work and allow factories to produce goods on schedule.
Participants noted how the global pandemic has exacerbated the shortage, and welcomed the swift actions taken by the Administration to work with diplomatic partners to strengthen the public health response in key production locales to support the safe reopening of factories. The Administration announced that it was formalizing this effort, with the Department of Commerce and the State Department now working together to manage an early alert system to proactively manage potential semiconductor supply chain disruptions linked to public health developments in key trading partners. The goals of this enhanced effort include early detection of potential disruptions, enhanced engagement with foreign governments and industry, and promotion of transparency across the supply chain, while balancing worker health and safety and the safe reopening of critical industries and supporting the local public health response. Technical experts from USAID and the CDC will play key roles in carrying out this mission.
Additionally, today, the Commerce Department launched a Request for Information that is asking all parts of the supply chain – producers, consumers, and intermediaries – to voluntarily share information about inventories, demand, and delivery dynamics. The goal of the RFI is to understand and quantify where bottlenecks may exist. Secretary Raimondo called on business leaders to respond to the RFI in the next 45 days and help improve trust and transparency within the supply chain.
Longer term solutions to the shortage are still important, and that is why Congress needs to act to both build a domestic industrial capacity for chips and create a new supply chain resiliency program at the Commerce Department so that we can have the ability to monitor vulnerabilities and take action to close them. These actions are critical to advance both our economic competitiveness and our national security.