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Is the Semiconductor Shortage a National Security Concern?

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May 24, 2021—The shortage of semiconductors has idled some automobile production—thousands of nearly complete cars are sitting outside factories awaiting chips to be ready for sale—but what larger concerns does the supply issue point to?

According to a story in National Defense, the shortage points to a weak supply chain and could be threat to the United States' national security. The shortage itself, as explained in the piece, is linked to the manufacture of advanced vehicles.

“The shortage is largely the result of substantial swings in demand due to the pandemic and the increased use of semiconductors in advanced vehicles,” Falan Yinug, director of industry statistics and economic policy for the Semiconductor Industry Association, says in the story. “The semiconductor industry is working diligently to ramp up production to meet renewed demand. … [However], this supply-demand imbalance cannot be remedied with the ‘flip of a switch.’”

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul introduced the CHIPS for America Act, which incentivizes companies to manufacture more advanced semiconductors in the U.S. and is now law, for national security purposes, the story says.

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