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White House Moves to Make America Chips Again

USA semiconductor

  • Biden administration moves to onshore more chip manufacturing as supply line disruption affects vehicle manufacture
  • Political shift presents tremendous opportunity for Intel which has persisted in manufacturing chips in America

“Designed in California, Made in China” is plastered on so many American products these days that it’s almost become cliché.

As China opened its doors in the late 1980s to foreign investment, it also enabled access to a large pool of cheap labor that has since moved up the value chain, making everything from mop heads to microchips in the process.

And as the semiconductor industry evolved, firms such as Nvidia (+3.30%) and AMD (+0.34%), focused on the higher margin design of chips while offshoring most of their production to manufacturers in Taiwan and China.

But one manufacturer held out – Intel (+3.06%) – and its investors were punished accordingly – as years of missteps with expensive and complex manufacturing processes, saw the once indomitable semiconductor giant struggle to compete with the likes of TSMC (+0.80%) and Samsung Electronics (-1.33%).

Yet the fortunes of Intel (and its long suffering shareholders) may be set to change as the Biden administration has pledged to take immediate action to address a global shortage of semiconductors that has had spillover effects and halted production on several U.S. car manufacturing lines.

A surge in demand for consumer electronics because of the pandemic has led to a shortage of chips, exacerbated by U.S. sanctions on SMIC (+4.05%), a Chinese chipmaker.

General Motors (-2.53%) and Ford (-2.64%) have been forced to idle factories in response to the chip shortage, this despite a resurgence in American demand for Ford’s popular F-150 pickup truck and which will hurt revenues.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order next week that will focus on immediate actions that can be taken, including the physical production of chips in America.

The impact the chip shortage has had on the American vehicle manufacturing industry has drawn the attention of lawmakers, with senators urging the Biden Administration to secure funding authorized by Congress late last year in the CHIPS Act to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

And the crisis facing carmakers has also fueled resurgent calls for the U.S. to onshore its semiconductor manufacturing on national security grounds.

The move could potentially provide a significant boost for Intel, which has persisted in onshore manufacturing of chips and is now reviewing its entire business process.

Persistence can pay off, especially for Intel’s shareholders.

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© Copyright of Novum Global Consultancy Pte Ltd {2020, 2021}. All rights reserved.

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