By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to soon release details from a study of semiconductor chips it conducted last year amid a push to win funding to boost U.S. manufacturing from Congress.
In September, the department asked semiconductor chip manufacturers and other companies in the supply chain to voluntarily submit data amid a shortage of chips that has curtailed auto production around the world.
The department has said it received cooperation but has not yet released details. Automakers and chips manufacturers have warned the supply shortages could last until least 2023.
On Monday, the Commerce Department sought input on planning potential programs to incentivize government investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research.
“The United States faces both an immediate supply shortage that’s driving up prices and a long-term threat to America’s economic and national security if we don’t increase domestic supply of chips,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Monday.
Chrysler-parent Stellantis said Friday it was halting production this week at its Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario where it builds minivans because of the chips shortage.
House Democrats are expected as early as this week to introduce legislation aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness with China and spending $52 billion on semiconductor production and research, sources told Reuters, after the Senate approved funding in June.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week said the bill would come “soon” and a vote on the House floor is expected in February, the sources said.
Biden has been pressing Congress to approve more funds to boost chip production in the United States as shortages of the key components used in autos and computers have exacerbated supply chain bottlenecks.
On Friday, Intel announced it plans to invest $20 billion and build two new chips plants in Ohio, while Samsung Electronics in November picked Taylor, Texas for a new $17 billion plant to make advanced chips.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Stephen Coates)