A perverse combination of economic effects and forecasts related to the pandemic and clumsy trade moves in the last Administration have led to a global shortage of semiconductors. Mostly attention has been focused on its effect on the US automobile industry, but ,as this article points out, it definitely is not so limited. My client, the appliance association --AHAM , and its members are communicating to Pres. Biden and others that this shortage is affecting appliance manufacturing in the United States right now and just as intensely as it affects the automobile industry. The new Administration needs to be cautious in attempting to reallocate supplies to one industry to the detriment of another great American manufacturing industry. Sometimes industrial policy is necessary, but it creates risks of unintended consequences. There is a short-term crisis but the solution of expanding domestic capacity to make these vital components is a longer-term issue that Congress will need to face up to very soon.

Portman said appliance producing companies like Whirlpool are also affected by the semiconductor shortage, which was caused when semiconductor producing countries like Taiwan reduced their chip production because they thought demand for them would go down because of the coronavirus. Demand for the products is strong again, but Portman said the semiconductor shortage will hold back production.