DETROIT – If you’ve recently bought a new or used car, you may have noticed that the prices have gone up.
You might also have noticed how difficult it is to buy the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X – with both gaming devices seemingly always out of stock and when in stock they go fast.
These things all have one thing in common: They are caused by the shortage of computer chips.
The shortage began with an increase in demand for personal computers and other electronic devices as workers and students moved from the office and classroom to home during the COVID pandemic.
The shortage, and the pandemic in general, has forced many automakers to cut production. Semiconductors are scarce due to high demand and the impacts of the US trade war with China that began under former President Donald Trump, according to CNBC.
The COVID pandemic has also had a major impact. When the pandemic started, people were buying more computers, monitors and other equipment for work or distance learning. Then home entertainment gadgets like game consoles, televisions, smartphones, and tablets start to sell out fast. All of these devices contain a lot of chips.
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is looking to use federal dollars as part of a solution.
The rules of supply and demand are definitely at stake. The computer chip shortage that was supposed to end now is likely to spill over into next year.
Stabenow took to the Ford test track in Dearborn to see the F-150 Lightning Electric pick up on her own. But also noticeable around the runway were parked F-150s. They’re built, but the vital semiconductors are missing.
Most of the chips needed come from Asia, but factory fires and shifts in demand have caused a significant backlog. Stabenow is introducing legislation in the Senate to funnel more than $ 50 billion into chip production in the United States.
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