President Biden is meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss a critical global shortage of semiconductors — computer chips used in cars, consumer electronics and weapons systems. The administration is also expected to order a 100-day review of U.S. supply chain weaknesses to avoid future shortages of other critical items including surgical masks and electric-vehicle batteries.

Arthur Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says demand for semiconductor chips among automakers is only going to increase as more electric vehicles are introduced into fleets.

Wheaton says: 

“The semiconductor chip shortage is an extremely important issue. As more automakers move to electrify their fleets, the higher the demand. These chips are used in cell phones, computers, home ‘Alexa, Google’ smart devices and other consumer goods.

“What elevates the emergency to President Biden’s desk is the impact on the defense and military needs, and the gigantic impact on the economy if billions in manufacturing stoppages from automakers spreads to other industries as well. Like most big problems, it will require time, money and cooperation to address.”


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