Manufacturers had less than a five-day supply of computer chips on hand last year, leaving them vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, the Commerce Department said in a report Tuesday. The report comes as a push for lawmakers to pass $52 billion worth of federal subsidies to incentivize the construction of chip factories.
''This means a disruption overseas, which might shut down a semiconductor plant for 2-3 weeks, has the potential to disable a manufacturing facility and furlough workers in the United States if that facility only has 3-5 days of inventory,'' the Commerce Department said, according to The Washington Post.
Such a chip shortage leaves automakers and other chip users with ''no room for error,'' Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Tuesday.
''A COVID outbreak, a storm, a natural disaster, political instability, problem with equipment — really anything that disrupts a [chip-making] facility anywhere in the world, we will feel the ramifications here in the United States of America,'' she added. ''A COVID outbreak in Malaysia has the potential to shut down a manufacturing facility in America.''
''The reality is, Congress must act,'' Raimondo urged lawmakers. ''Every day we wait, we fall further behind.''
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