WASHINGTON -- A trio of Democratic U.S. senators has asked the Taiwanese government for more help to address an ongoing chip shortage that has left numerous American auto production lines standing idle at times, according to a letter reviewed by Reuters.
The letter, dated Aug. 18 and not previously made public, was sent by Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and Ohio's Sherrod Brown to Taiwan's de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, praising his "efforts to address the shortage."
But the senators added they were "hopeful you will continue to work with your government and foundries to do everything possible to mitigate the risk confronting our state economies."
The shortage has spurred production cuts and layoffs and rippled through the economies of states that are heavily dependent on the auto industry.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry told Reuters it was aware of the letter and had passed on the request contained within it to government departments in charge of trade and economics.
Taiwan and the United States "have been closely coordinating and communicating on supply chain issues", the ministry added. "We believe that Taiwan and the United States can jointly establish a safe and reliable supply chain for key industries."
Taiwan's Economy Ministry said on Thursday it was not able to immediately comment.
Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said it would halt output for a week starting Monday at production lines that build its bestselling F-150 pickup trucks because of the shortage. General Motors suspended production for a week at three North American truck plants earlier this month because of the same issue.
Nissan Motor earlier this month halted output for two weeks at a major Tennessee plant due to the impact of COVID-19 in Malaysia and chip issues.