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auto chip supplies: Taiwan minister flags improvement in auto chip supplies – Latest News

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Taiwan firms are working hard to resolve a shortage of automotive chips, Economy Minister Wang Mei-Hua said on Thursday, adding that she understood there had been an improvement in such supplies to auto factories worldwide.

Such plants are shutting assembly lines because of the shortages, worsened in some cases by the actions of the former U.S. administration against Chinese chip makers.

Taiwan, home to firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , the world’s largest contract chip maker, is centrestage for efforts to resolve the shortage.

Wang, who has met tech executives to push them to boost auto chip production, told reporters that Taiwan companies understood the need for auto chips and were working to turn them out.

“My understanding from the sidelines is that global auto factories have seen a certain improvement, but this is a long-term problem,” she said, adding that areas such as electric vehicles also competed for chip supplies.

The issue has become a political one, with Germany’s economy minister writing to seek Wang’s help.

This week U.S. President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, thanked Wang for her efforts to resolve the shortage in coordination with the island’s manufacturers.

Wang said she could not comment on the contents of the letter, as she had not received it, although she learnt of it from media reports. But other countries had also thanked Taiwan for its efforts, she added, without naming them.

This month, Wang presided over a meeting between Taiwanese and U.S. tech companies on supply chains.

Follow-up meetings depend on when U.S. officials take office, following Biden’s inauguration last month, Wang said.

Some Taiwan politicians have suggested that the island use the chips as a bargaining tool to win help from other countries in securing COVID-19 vaccine supplies.

Wang dismissed the idea of a swap on such lines, saying vaccine purchases fell in the health minister’s purview.

“It’s inappropriate to talk about exchanging chips for vaccines,” she added.

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