WASHINGTON—Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers President and CEO Joseph McGuire recently sent a letter to President Biden, asking him to address the global semiconductor shortage. The letter seeks an immediate increase in global production of semiconductors to ensure that home appliances are available to meet the increased usage demand exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early in the latter, McGuire writes, "As your administration weighs options for increasing short-term supplies of semiconductors, we strongly urge that any solution avoid reallocating semiconductors from the home appliance industry. Home appliances are critical to life at home and further industry disruptions will severely impact appliance availability and jeopardize the home appliance industry’s ability to recover from COVID-19 related backlogs."
Later on, the letter states, "We seek your assistance in supporting an increase in global chip production. In the meantime, we ask that you take steps to ensure semiconductors are fairly allocated across sectors and that any allocations do not have a detrimental impact on the home appliance industry and therefore U.S. consumers."
In late February, Biden signed an executive order directing a broad review of supply chains for critical materials—from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals and rare-earth minerals—with the aim of spurring domestic production while strengthening ties with allies.
The executive order mandates a 100-day review of supply chains for four areas: semiconductors; large-capacity batteries used in electric vehicles; pharmaceuticals; and rare-earth elements that are key to technology and defense. Biden is also calling for a separate, one-year review of supply chains covering six broader sectors, from technology to food production.