Biden to Address Chip Shortages, Supply-Chain Problems With Executive Action



Alex Leary | WSJ

WASHINGTON— President Biden plans to sign an executive order Wednesday directing a broad review of supply chains for critical materials from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals and rare-earth minerals, aiming to spur domestic production while strengthening ties with allies.

A chip shortage is squeezing auto makers in the U.S. and world-wide, and Biden administration officials have been working with industry to free up supplies. Cars use chips for numerous systems, including engine management, automatic braking and assisted driving.

“There isn’t kind of a magic bullet to solve the near-term problem,” a White House official who works on economic issues said in a briefing with reporters before Mr. Biden’s action. But the official said the auto problem—like shortages of Covid-19 gear—highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to supply-chain resiliency.

“We’re going to get out of the business of reacting to supply-chain crises as they arise and get into the business of getting ahead of future supply-chain problems,” the official said. “We’re not simply planning to order up reports.”

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