Samsung, Whirlpool, HP and more head to the White House to talk semiconductors

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Samsung, Whirlpool (WHR), HP (HPQ), Medtronic (MDT), Micron (MU) and Cummins (CMI) will meet with President Joe Biden at 2 p.m. today with a group of governors to address semiconductor shortages.

Wednesday’s event will highlight the role of semiconductors in everything from home appliances to medical devices to power generation. The meeting comes as the White House looks for different ways to show action against supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures, as the new ban on Russian oil will push prices in the sector even higher in the coming days and weeks could drift.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who will chair the roundtable alongside Biden, told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that the key question will be “how do we continue to alleviate chip shortages for American companies, but also how do we work with the private sector and with governments.” to increase the domestic production of semiconductor chips.”

President Joe Biden arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, after a trip to Texas Tuesday night. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

“Pass that bill”

In addition to working directly with manufacturers, Biden and his staff are urging Congress to prioritize the languishing bipartisan Innovation Act, which includes funding to boost U.S. semiconductor production and boost U.S. manufacturing overall.

The White House says the legislation would help alleviate current bottlenecks — like rising car prices due to chip shortages — and would also strengthen America’s position against rivals like China.

Versions of the effort have passed both the House and Senate on Capitol Hill. However, lawmakers have been slow to come together to iron out the differences and get them onto the president’s desk.

Biden himself made another push for the bill during his State of the Union address last week.

Intel (INTC) CEO Pat Gelsinger attended the address, and Biden noted that the chipmaker plans to increase its investment in domestic chip production from $20 billion to $100 billion. “[What] They’re waiting for you to pass this bill,” Biden told the assembled lawmakers. “And Intel is not alone.”

Identify vulnerabilities in the supply chain

Since 2021, the semiconductor industry has announced nearly $80 billion in new investment in the United States through 2025, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. And the White House promises that investment would only grow if Congress passed the Innovation Act.

Samsung, who will be present today, has pledged $17 billion for a semiconductor factory. Texas Instruments (TXN) is also investing up to $30 billion.

The innovation bill would also create a new office for supply chain resilience and crisis response at the Department of Commerce, which officials hope will find weaknesses in the supply chain to prevent disruptions.

For her part, Raimondo said Tuesday that Biden “was clear to me, we have to keep engaging with the business community, listening to them, working with them.”

Ben Werschkul is a writer and producer for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, DC.

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