A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is pointing to several different ways that the United States can help reduce semiconductor product shortages that have been plaguing the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GAO interviewed 17 different experts who agreed there are five general areas in which to pursue strategies to mitigate semiconductor shortages. The government watchdog agency flagged several areas where Congress can work to create policy to help bolster semiconductor supply chains and product availability:
- Workforce Development: Focusing on training programs and immigration reform to help prepare for future workforce development needs;
- Manufacturing Capacity: Providing financial incentives and streamlining permitting processes to increase domestic manufacturing capacity;
- Research and Development: Bolstering domestic research and development efforts to help the U.S. maintain its technology leadership and enable more commercialization;
- Supply Chain Strengthening: Enhancing security and conducting more robust monitoring to help strengthen the supply chain;
- International Coordination: Working with international partners to help the U.S. improve global supply chain resilience.
The experts that GAO talked to also suggested that policy makers should look to prioritize policy efforts to boost semiconductor availability based on both national economic and security imperatives.
The GAO report comes as Congress is taking action on legislation that would provide $52 billion in funding for the CHIPS Act that would provide incentives to semiconductor makers to establish new manufacturing operations in the U.S.