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White House meeting on semiconductor to focus on how to remove shortage

Diplomacy 02:09 April 13, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Yonhap) -- President Joe Biden and his White House will focus on short-term and long-term solutions to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, which will include government support for semiconductor makers, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.

The U.S. president was to set to "briefly" join a virtual meeting of 19 global firms later in the day that will be hosted by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

This image captured from a White House Youtube channel shows spokeswoman Jen Psaki answering questions at a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on April 12, 2021. (Yonhap)

"One of the reasons the president is stopping by this meeting that our national security adviser and an NEC (National Economic Council) director (are) holding this afternoon is to hear directly from companies about the impacts. What would help them most through this period of time and the shortage that...has impacted a range of industries across the country," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a daily press briefing.

"So, this isn't a meeting where we expect a decision or an announcement to come out of, but a part of our ongoing engagement and discussion about how to best address this issue over the long term but also over the short term," she added.

The virtual meeting comes amid a supply shortage of semiconductors, especially those used in vehicles, that is affecting the operation of major U.S. automakers.

The 19 global firms set to attend include South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co, the world's No. 1 supplier of semiconductors.

Psaki noted the issue will take a long-term, whole-of-government approach to be addressed, adding that is why the government is now pushing for a US$50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research.

"In the near term, we're engaging with industry as evidenced by the meeting that's taking place shortly later this afternoon, as well as our international partners to ensure that American companies are operating on an even playing field," said Psaki.

"So, our view is that this is certainly something where we need to work closely with industry. We need to work closely with Congress -- Democrats and Republicans. There's agreement on this issue, being one that's impacting industries across the country -- also with allies and partners on how we can prevent the shortage from happening in the future."


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