ROSSLYN, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association recently recommended to the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security the need to establish U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain capabilities in key applications, such as those that use connectivity technologies.

"All aspects of the economy rely on an adequate and reliable supply of semiconductors, including NEMA members, whose products perform essential functions across critical infrastructure," says NEMA President and CEO Debra Phillips. "In fact, sufficient availability of semiconductors will be critical in achieving the shared infrastructure improvement goals enabled by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently passed by Congress."

NEMA Member companies' products that rely on semiconductors are used in healthcare, energy, grid, information technology, medical imaging, transportation, schools, water/wastewater, high performance commercial buildings, and efficient home appliances. These products include electricity meters; control gear for medium and high voltage switching and breaking equipment; advanced industrial automation equipment including robots and control panels; light-emitting diode (LED) drivers for new/replacement lighting; lighting dimmers; sensors for indoor/outdoor lighting; thermostats; fire alarms; medical imaging equipment; submeters; and security systems.

"We ask for equity so that the health, safety, comfort, productivity, and quality of life for all Americans can be met. It is essential that the nation's semiconductor supply be available across industry sectors and that Administration policy deliver essential supply for all applications," says Phillips.

NEMA strongly urged the Administration to implement policies that expand the availability of semiconductors and invest in future production. NEMA also noted that government policy should focus on availability of all types of chips, including memory chips, microprocessors, standard chips and chips with complex embedded software systems. Each play a unique role in relied on technologies across the economy.

As stated in a May 2021 letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo, NEMA advocates for an adequate supplies of semiconductors and similar products to ensure Americans' continued access to the equipment and systems manufactured by electrical and medical imaging manufacturers. The organization also called on Congress to fund the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act and pass the Facilitating American Built Semiconductors (FABS) Act. These proposals would encourage domestic manufacturing, which will, in turn, lower costs and expand supply.