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03.2.2021

On Feb. 24, 2021, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed to assess the country’s supply chain weaknesses and opportunities, to avoid shortages from personal protective equipment to semiconductors.

The action came after the nation weathered uncertainty in shipments of protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, to the semiconductor shortage of 2021 that has forced automakers in the US and in Europe to shut down production in multiple plants.

Under the previous administration, a number of China-based companies were added to a blacklist, which caused supply chain disruptions in various industries as manufacturers scrambled to source components and materials.

The share of US manufacturing capacity makes up just 12% of the global market, down from 37% in 1990. The Semiconductor Industry Association released a statement welcoming the executive order, and calling for ambitious investments in domestic chip manufacturing and research.

The US has already taken some steps to decrease its reliance on Asian manufacturers for semiconductors. In Dec. 2020, a domestic computer chip manufacturing bill was passed in the final version of the 2021 defense budget. The bill announced a strategic partnership with US-based GlobalFoundries, which currently holds 7.4% market share of the global foundry market.

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