08.19.21

Peters, Stabenow, Brown Urge Taiwan to Continue Efforts to Address Ongoing Semiconductor Chip Shortage Affecting Auto Workers, Manufacturers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Sherrod Brown (OH) urged the Taiwanese government to continue working to mitigate the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage that has impacted American auto manufacturers, causing plants to idle and resulting in layoffs for workers throughout the auto industry’s supply chain. In their letter to Taiwan’s representative to the U.S. Bi-khim Hsiao, the senators thanked Taiwan for working to address the global chip shortage, while emphasizing that additional steps can be taken to increase chip production.

“These plants are absolutely critical to our state economies, employing tens of thousands of our constituents and supporting a critical supply base that amplifies their significance by as much as ten-fold,” wrote the Senators. “In what should be good news for our country’s economic recovery, demand for vehicles — from cars to commercial trucks — is now up, yet the lack of semiconductor chips is preventing this renewed demand from being met. At a time when our manufacturers should be adding extra shifts, they have had to idle U.S. plants or curtail production.

“…We value your efforts to address the shortage and are hopeful you will continue to work with your government and foundries to do everything possible to mitigate the risk confronting our state economies.”

The senators expressed gratitude for Taiwan’s previous efforts to augment semiconductor production and acknowledged the serious challenge that COVID-19 presents. They also underscored the United States’ commitment to aid Taiwan’s pandemic response by making excess vaccines available.

The full text of the letter can be found below, or click here.

Representative Bi-khim Hsiao

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative

Office in the United States

4201 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20016

 

Dear Representative Hsiao:

We write you today as Senators representing states with auto manufacturing plants. These plants are absolutely critical to our state economies, employing tens of thousands of our constituents and supporting a critical supply base that amplifies their significance by as much as ten-fold.

First, we want you to know that we are carefully monitoring the COVID challenge in Taiwan and stand ready to help. As policy leaders, we share a keen understanding of the challenge your country is facing and appreciate the steps you are taking to protect both the human and economic health of your country. We support President Biden’s efforts to make excess vaccines available to Taiwan, which are critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone on the island.

We also want to thank you for your active engagement in the chip matter which is so consequential to the vitality of our states. We know that you have worked closely with TSMC and others to address the shortage disrupting our businesses and idling so many of our workers. Your engagement is helpful and appreciated.

How this shortage occurred also is well understood, as is the complicated multi-level supply chain that inhibited visibility at the beginning of this shortage and continues to limit a clear understanding of how long the shortage will persist. What we are hearing at this point is that the risk of shortages clearly has extended into 2022, despite the considerable efforts in Taiwan to augment production.

This shortage threatens the U.S. post-pandemic economic recovery, the consequences of which are especially acute in auto manufacturing states like ours. In what should be good news for our country’s economic recovery, demand for vehicles—from cars to commercial trucks—is now up, yet the lack of semiconductor chips is preventing this renewed demand from being met. At a time when our manufacturers should be adding extra shifts, they have had to idle U.S. plants or curtail production. The U.S. is now the most impacted region in the world.

We value your efforts to address the shortage and are hopeful you will continue to work with your government and foundries to do everything possible to mitigate the risk confronting our state economies.

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