Microchips and masks are both being covered in an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Feb. 24 aimed at promoting the production of vital items in the United States.
As the coronavirus pandemic proved, it is difficult to keep needed items in stock if they're not made in your region. U.S. manufacturers already have stepped up to make face masks, shields, respirators and other needed medical equipment.
The new order also covers microchips. A shortage of chips has prompted assembly plant shutdowns by automakers globally, impacting all carmakers in the U.S.
U.S. semiconductor firms account for 47 percent of global chip sales but only 12 percent of production, because they have outsourced much of the manufacturing overseas, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association in a report from Reuters news service.
The executive order will also direct reviews in six key economic sectors to identify shortages and solutions. The order will also cover training American workers to bring production to the U.S.