Stabenow, Peters ask Taiwan to help ease semiconductor shortage

Daniel Flatley

Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, along with Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, are asking the Taiwanese government to help the U.S. with a chip shortage that has idled auto plants and sent workers packing throughout the industry as the global economy struggles to recover from the pandemic.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Brown wrote to Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim, noting that the semiconductor shortage is still hurting the auto industry, even though demand for cars and trucks is up.

Sen. Gary Peters, from left, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“This shortage threatens the U.S. post-pandemic economic recovery, the consequences of which are especially acute in auto manufacturing states like ours,” the senators wrote. “The lack of semiconductor chips is preventing this renewed demand from being met.”

“At a time when our manufacturers should be adding extra shifts, they have had to idle U.S. plants or curtail production,” the letter continues. “The U.S. is now the most impacted region in the world.”

The senators said they have learned that the shortage may continue through 2022 and asked the Taiwanese government to take extra steps to increase production. They also said they supported President Joe Biden’s efforts to make excess COVID-19 vaccines available to Taiwan.

“What we are hearing at this point is that the risk of shortages clearly has extended into 2022, despite the considerable efforts in Taiwan to augment production,” the senators wrote. “We value your efforts to address the shortage and are hopeful you will continue to work with your government and foundries to do everything possible to mitigate the risk confronting our state economies.”