CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The U.S. Senate is looking to address the global microchip shortage through legislation.
Automakers around the world, including the Belvidere Chrysler plant and Ford plant in Chicago, are shutting down assembly lines due to a global shortage of semiconductors.
“If this supply chain is so dependent on foreign countries and we’re at their mercy when it comes to the production of these chips, what can we do about it?” asked U.S. Senator Dick Durbin during a press conference at mHUB Chicago, one of the nation's largest hardtech innovation and manufacturing centers.
A bipartisan legislative package, known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, hopes to boost domestic production of the microchips.
“We’re putting $50 billion plus into the industry,” Durbin said. “We’re investing in this industry to bring it back home to America.”
According to Durbin, 37 percent of the world’s supply of semiconductors was manufactured in the United States in 1990. Today, the country accounts for 12 percent.
“We think we can be self-sufficient in chips and production to keep things developing and products coming off the line and people coming to work. I think we can win this battle,” Durbin said.
The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 was debated in the Senate before Memorial Day and is expected to be discussed again next week.