WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of 38 U.S.
House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to
immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52
billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion
in support for chips used by the automotive industry.
The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping
package of legislation intended to boost the country's ability
to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52
billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.
The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the "dire
consequences the automotive industry as a whole - and the nation
- faces if we fail to advance legislation soon."
Automakers around the world have cut production dramatically
because of the shortage in supply of semiconductor chips. The
Senate bill includes $2 billion in funding dedicated to the type
of chips automakers use.
The letter is spearheaded by U.S. Representatives Debbie
Dingell and Fred Upton of Michigan. Dingell is a Democrat and
Upton a Republican. The letter said the "ongoing semiconductor
shortage is hurting the automotive industry, American workers,
and our nations competitiveness by the hour."
It added that "all of the major American automotive
manufacturers are hurting and conditions are getting worse ...
If this shortage is further prolonged, we fear more assembly
plants will be faced with temporary shutdowns or long-term
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has been urging Congress to
pass funding quickly.
"Realistically, there is no quick and easy fix," Raimondo
told Reuters last month. "Fundamentally, the solution is that we
need to make more chips, and we need to make more chips in
Raimondo's department issued a voluntary request for
information to obtain better information on the chips problem
Automakers from General Motors Co to Ford Motor Co
to Toyota Motor Corp have cut output due to
scarce chip supplies, made worse by a COVID-19 resurgence in key
Asian semiconductor production hubs.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington
Editing by Matthew Lewis)