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Commerce secretary: ‘Congress must act’ on chips shortages

The shortage of semiconductor chips is becoming an economic and national security problem, so Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is urging Congress to step in to fix it. 

Raimondo laid out the risk involved in the situation, saying, “We aren’t even close to being out of the woods as it relates to the supply problems with semiconductors,” according to CBS News Jan. 25. 

She added, “The semiconductor supply chain is very fragile, and it’s going to remain that way until we can increase chip production in the United States.”

The supply of electronic microprocessors is lagging behind the demand that has skyrocketed recently. Last year, it was up 17% over 2019.

Another aspect demonstrating the impact of chip shortages is supply falling from an average of 40 days in 2019 to just five days in 2021, and inventories are even smaller in critical industries.

The immediate impact is seen in the economy for Americans, who have to deal with unexpected price increases, reflected in the behavior of inflation, which in 2021 grew at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years. 

I know inflation is on everybody’s mind, including ours. Auto prices drove a third of inflation, and why? Simply because we don’t have enough chips,” Raimondo said. 

In this regard, the department said that “in the coming weeks, the industry will be involved in resolving node-specific issues. We will also look into complaints about unusually high prices at these nodes.”

Given the complexity and importance of the situation, Raimondo urged, “Congress must act.” While she acknowledged that a $52 billion budget was approved last year to help solve the problem, it is only a “drop in the bucket.”

Some companies are planning major investments to increase production. For example, Intel Corp. plans to invest $20 billion in the construction of two new chip plants in Ohio.

Likewise, Samsung Electronics chose Taylor, Texas, to install a new $17 billion plant to manufacture advanced microprocessors. 

On the other hand, several countries, including Taiwan, are striving to significantly increase production of these critical electronics products.  

It is noteworthy that semiconductors, in addition to being used in most industrial sectors, will be implanted in humans to combine the physical, digital and biological worlds, according to Klaus Schwab.

Schwab is the leader of The Great Reset and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, who predicts that Big Tech will increasingly pursue microchips implanted in people and other “transhumanist” technologies.

On this topic he announced in 2016: “At first we will implant them in our clothes. We could imagine that we will implant them in our brain, or in our skin. In the end, maybe there will be a direct communication between our brains and the digital world.”

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