Auto semiconductor shortages remain a significant drag on the U.S. economy: Matt Blunt

WASHINGTON, DC – There is no single supply chain shortage having a bigger impact on the US economy than the shortage of automotive-grade semiconductors. U.S. automakers have come back strong in the country’s economic recovery, but all of that job creation — and the resulting economic growth — is at risk because of these ongoing shortages.

“American Automakers” – Ford, General Motors and the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram nameplates of Stellantis – play a crucial role in the US economy, creating jobs throughout the automotive supply chain and throughout the country. They are united in a solution to enact bipartisan legislation in Congress that will help rebuild America’s national semiconductor value chains, especially the automotive-grade semiconductor supply chains that are so critical to our automakers. Americans.

American automakers employ two out of every three autoworkers in the United States and are a vital component of a thriving American economy. Together, Ford, GM and Stellantis operate 26 factories and directly employ and indirectly support more than 6 million American workers. But no other American industry has been so badly affected by the global shortage of semiconductors as our country’s auto industry.

Although it’s a global shortage of semiconductors, U.S. automakers — with lost production of around 1.6 million vehicles last year — have suffered some of the biggest negative impacts. This loss of production last year translated into the U.S. auto industry losing 13% of annual production, equivalent to the annual production of six auto assembly plants in the United States. United. In view of this, we believe that the total number of American jobs affected was 400,000.

For decades, the aggressive use of subsidies and incentives by a handful of governments has over-concentrated semiconductor production in Northeast Asia. As a result, today 75% of the global semiconductor market is controlled by just three countries – China, Taiwan and South Korea – threatening our nation’s economic and national security. This threat has only worsened in recent months.

We can’t wait any longer to take action to prevent another semiconductor supply chain crisis from endangering America’s national and economic security. The American auto industry – including our automakers and their supplier partners – still maintains a significant presence and employs millions of American workers directly and indirectly. But their ability to remain globally competitive depends heavily on improved and more secure access to automotive-grade semiconductors.

These semiconductors are also critical to the transition to electric vehicles as US car buyers increasingly embrace EV options, which some experts say will require 2,500 semiconductor chips. by car – twice as much as today’s conventional vehicles.

Matt Blunt

Former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, chairman of the American Automotive Policy Council, speaks at a Commerce Department hearing in 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)PA

House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation that provides incentive funding to dramatically increase semiconductor production in the United States. These funds will help semiconductor manufacturers make the decision to invest in the United States, and these two legislative initiatives include a new program to encourage domestic production of the types of semiconductors required not only by the automotive industry , but also by our country’s defense industrial base. Unfortunately, in recent weeks progress has been slow in resolving disputes between the House and the Senate.

So today – on behalf of America’s automakers and their workers – we urge congressional leaders in both houses to move quickly to resolve their differences and quickly pass bipartisan legislation to provide better and more secure access to semiconductors. that are essential to a thriving, globally competitive US auto industry.

Matt Blunt is a former governor of Missouri and president of the AAPC, a trade association representing American automakers Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Stellantis.

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