Tech giants lobby for chip subsidies

PART MUST ON SCREEN COURTESY INTEL CORPORATION

A global shortage of computer microchips is squeezing the world’s largest tech firms. And some of those titans are now banding together to press Washington to subsidize semiconductor production.

Firms heavily reliant on chips, such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon Web Services are joining with chip makers to form a new lobbying group.

Dubbed the "Semiconductors in America Coalition,” the lobby on Tuesday asked lawmakers to fund the CHIPS for America Act. That law passed earlier this year, and President Joe Biden is looking to Congress for $50 billion to boost chip production.

Tech firms warn the stakes could be severe: Apple said the chip shortage will cause it to lose up to $4 billion in sales in the current quarter.

And the trouble doesn’t stop at tech: Automakers could suffer more. Ford says the shortage could force it to halve production in the second quarter.

Amid the scramble for scarce microchips, administration officials have so far been reluctant to use a national security law to redirect chips to automakers for fear it could hurt other industries.

The new tech coalition cautioned against government actions that might favor a single sector.

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