Biden Team Pressing Taiwan, Allies on Auto Chip Shortfall

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, has sought the Taiwanese government’s help resolving a global semiconductor shortage that’s idling U.S. car manufacturing plants, according to a letter reviewed by Bloomberg News.

In the letter, Deese thanked Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs, Wang Mei-hua, for her personal engagement on the microchips shortage and relayed concerns from U.S. automotive companies.

Deese’s letter shows that top White House officials have become involved in trying to resolve the shortage, which has presented an early challenge to Biden’s administration. Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, as well as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan are both personally engaged in the effort to address bottlenecks in auto companies’ supply chains, a White House spokesperson said.

The spokesperson asked not to be identified by name because the talks have been private. Wang told reporters Thursday that she hasn’t received a letter from

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Autonomous Vehicle Industry Could Thrive Under Biden Despite Competition From China

Over the past two years, China and the U.S. have been fully engaged in a trade war as a result of tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump claiming unfair trade practices. This had led to rising tensions between the two countries and countless tariffs on goods and products worth billions of dollars. While a trade deal seemed promising earlier this year, conversations between the two have since been paused.

Although the current progress between the U.S. and China seems to be optimistic, as President-elect Joe Biden transitions into office, it is unknown how he will approach the U.S.’ eastern rival and if he’ll be able to mend relations or if they’ll only worsen.

Biden says he’ll be tough on China, and we can expect the relationship to have a significant impact on various industries, in particular, the automotive industry as it pertains to the development of autonomous vehicles (AV).

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The Biden administration should crack down on Tesla.

Red Tesla driving on a highway
A Tesla Model S P85D.
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This article is part of the Future Agenda, a series from Future Tense in which experts suggest specific, forward-looking actions the new Biden administration should implement.

In October, Tesla offered some of its customers an upgrade to its “Autopilot” driver-assistance system called “Full Self-Driving.” Anyone familiar with how Tesla cars work knows that “Autopilot” isn’t really “autopilot,” and “Full Self-Driving” isn’t “full” either. For now, the feature allows a car to stay within lanes on a road, automatically brake in an emergency, turn, and respond to traffic signals on its own. But the company warns drivers to “not become complacent” because the vehicle “may do the wrong thing at the worst time.” Indeed, within days of FSD’s launch, a YouTube video showed a Tesla trying to drive itself into a parked car. Tesla called FSD “beta”

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