By Ben Blanchard
TAIPEI (Reuters) – A Canadian lawmaker who represents an area in the country’s main auto producing province said on Friday he had asked Taiwan to “please send us more chips” to help resolve an ongoing shortage that continues to snarl some production lines. Chips Canada Taiwan.
The automotive industry has been badly affected by global tightness in semiconductor supplies, which have in some cases forced companies to suspend production lines.
Chris Lewis, a member of parliament from Ontario which is home to Ford Motor Co and other auto factories, told reporters on a visit to Taiwan as part of a Canadian parliamentary delegation that the lack of chips continued to bite.
“We’ve got parking lots full of cars, finished product cars, that sit in the parking lot, can’t be sold, because we don’t have semiconductors,” he said.
The province is close to U.S. automakers in Michigan and Ohio, with a closely connected supply chain.
Lewis said they had met senior executives at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, while on their trip, along with other companies, to ask them to “put Canada at the top of the list”.
“I think every single meeting, including the upper levels of government, I brought up there are very major shortages of chips. It was a very broad conversation and every time we said ‘please send us more chips’.”
Lewis said they got reassurances that Taiwan is working “very diligently” to build more chips, but he added that ultimately what would be best would be chip manufacturing in Canada or the United States.
“The conversation needs to be larger than that. It needs to be so how do we use their technology, use their expertise, get them over, train them and start building them in North America, build them in Canada, build them in the United States.”
TSMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company is constructing a $12 billion plant in the U.S. state of Arizona.