Apple partner TSMC asked for U.S Commerce chief’s help to procure COVID-19 vaccinations for Taiwan

One of the world’s largest chip foundries, Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has requested the U.S government to help in getting COVID-19 vaccinations for Taiwan. The island has recorded a spike in domestic cases since May, therefore, the manufacturer is asking for help to ensure the safety of the people and a steady supply of chips.

Currently, the tech industry is facing a global chip shortage, and TSMC an important stack holder in the crisis as a supplier of silicon to Apple, automobile, health, and other industries in the U.S. Thus, aiming to improve domestic manufacturing, Joe Biden’s administration is assisting TSMC in its ambitious $100 billion investment plan in three years to build at least 6 manufacturing units in Arizona, U.S. However, in the stint, U.S is dependent on manufacturing units in Taiwan to meet silicon demand in the country.

Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images

TSMC seeks U.S help to get COVID-19 vaccinations for Taiwan to ensure a steady supply of silicon

On behalf of the Taiwanese government, TSMC is negotiating the procurement of COVID-19 vaccinations for the island. Gina Raimondo, U.S. Commerce Secretary confirmed that the chief executive of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd asked for help in “getting access to COVID-19 vaccines.” She told Reuters that matter is being discussed in the White House.

“He asked for help in that regard, he has spoken to high level officials in the White House. We have responded and we definitely want to be a good partner and I do think it’s helping.”

TSMC- semiconductor shortage

It is also mentioned that some U.S carmakers have told Reuters privately earlier this month they were concerned COVID-19 in Taiwan could impact the flow of semiconductors to U.S. factories. TSMC said in a statement that “getting vaccines for Taiwan would help to protect the communities and ensure normal operations.”

The report details that the request is made at a time of global chip shortage which has “slowed production” for manufacturers worldwide, including the U.S automobile industry “where it is forecast the crisis will hit the production of 3.9 million vehicles.” In this situation, Secretary Raimondo has an imperative role in resolving the crisis for the country. 

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