By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo plans to hold a May 20 meeting with senior U.S. auto industry leaders and others on a semiconductor shortage that has cut production, two sources briefed on the matter said.
The meeting will include General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV, the sources said.
Raimondo told MSNBC on Friday “we need to get back into the business of making more chips in America. And the supply chain issues are very real.”
She said the chip shortage was a factor in the loss of 27,000 auto sector jobs in April.
The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters reported last week that the department was planning a new meeting with automakers on chips.
Last week, Raimondo said the department is pressing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and other Taiwanese firms to prioritize the needs of U.S. automakers to ease chip shortages in the near term.
On Wednesday, TSMC said that tackling the shortage remained its top priority.
On Friday, a group representing U.S. automakers, the United Auto Workers and an auto parts group told Congress it “should prioritize production of the semiconductors necessary to assemble vehicles here in the United States. This will ensure that motor vehicle manufacturers have a fair share of chips needed to meet consumer demand.”
Last month, Ford warned the chip shortage might slash second-quarter production by half, costing it about $2.5 billion and about 1.1 million units of lost production in 2021, while GM has extended production halts at several North American factories because of the shortage.
On April 12, President Joe Biden convened semiconductor and auto industry executives to discuss solutions to the crisis. He backs $50 billion to support U.S. chip making and research.
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Aurora Ellis)