Renewed outbreaks of COVID-19 in Asia are compounding the global supply chain problems that began at the onset of the pandemic and shutdown measures last year. The latest wave of infections in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries has led to closures of plants and ports, causing severe disruptions in the supply of semiconductors and raw materials.
Article by Emel Akan from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times.
Economists and supply chain experts predict such shortages will continue into 2022, adding to inflation pressures.
Labor scarcity and supply chain bottlenecks caused by the Delta variant are not only crippling businesses in Asia but are also having knock-on effects in many countries, including the United States.
“Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines together account for about 6 percent of global exports, but their dominance in electronics lends them a large impact on countries like the U.S. and China,” Vaibhav Tandon, economist at Northern Trust wrote in a recent report.
“Malaysia has become a hub for chip testing and packing, with electronics and electrical products accounting for 39 percent of the nation’s total exports,” he stated.
Recent chip shortages have forced General Motors to pause production for most of its North American assembly after Labor Day. Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen have also announced production cuts in response to global semiconductor shortages.
The auto industry, however, is not the only sector feeling the pinch.
“Everything’s been hit, from washers and dryers to PlayStations and Xboxes,” Stephen Ezell, vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation said.
Southeast Asian countries “play important roles in various facets of the semiconductor production process,” he told The Epoch Times.
The chip manufacturing process is global, with different countries specializing in different stages throughout the value chain.
Southeast Asia countries, particularly Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, have been specialized in the final phase of the chip manufacturing—assembly, packaging, and testing—that is less skill- and capital-intensive compared to the front-end fabrication stage.
While assembly, packaging, and testing activity is concentrated primarily in Taiwan and China, new facilities being built recently in Southeast Asia have made the region into a new hub for chip manufacturing.
The devastation brought by the Delta variant in Asia is the latest but not the biggest incident for the semiconductor industry, Ezell said.
Global chip shortages had already worsened by a series of events this year, he noted, including a fire at a chip plant in Japan, severe drought in Taiwan, and the winter storm in Texas.
“The inadequate supply of chips and solid demand will likely keep automobile and other producer prices elevated over the near term,” Scott Anderson, chief economist of the Bank of the West, wrote in a recent report.
Sharp increases in car prices have contributed significantly to the high inflation this year. The consumer price index for new vehicles surged 6.4 percent annually in July, while the price index for used cars and trucks soared 41.6 percent over the same period.
Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest U.S. ports, have also experienced extraordinary congestion partly due to the closures of plants and ports in Asia.
China’s Meishan terminal at the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world’s third-busiest container port, was closed for two weeks in August following a month-long shutdown of China’s Yantian port in late May.
“Anytime there are delays and impacts at the ports of origin, you’re definitely going to see that domino effect here,” Mario Cordero, executive director at the Port of Long Beach, said during a press briefing in response to a question by The Epoch Times.
Southern California, he noted, is “the epicenter for imports from Asia to the United States” and backlogs in Asia is one of the reasons the two California ports have had a record number of vessels at anchor outside the harbor.
Two weeks ago, these ports saw as high as 44 to 46 vessels at anchor, he said, compared to only nine vessels in June.
While many predict that the chip shortage problem will be resolved in 2022, some industry experts are warning that it could take years for global chip supply to return to normal levels.
The transition to electric vehicles has also exacerbated the problem.
Ford Europe chairman Gunnar Herrmann predicts the shortage could continue through to 2024. In an interview with CNBC, Herrmann said that production of a Ford Focus requires roughly 300 chips, while an electric vehicle may require up to 3,000 chips.
“It’s not only semiconductors,” he said, adding that other commodities including lithium, plastics, and steel are also in short supply. “You find shortages or constraints all over the place.”
To address the global chip shortage, several chipmakers including Intel, Samsung, and TSMC have announced ambitious expansion plans in the United States. But building new production capacity takes several years, according to industry experts.
Plandemic, Voter Fraud, Afghanistan: All Parts of The Great Reset
If you still consider “conspiracy theorist” to be a pejorative, you’re not paying enough attention.
What do Covid-19, 2020 (and beyond) election fraud, and our disastrous abandoning of American citizens in Afghanistan have to do with one another? They’re all parts of the globalist plan to usher in a new era of Neo-Marxism in a depopulated world. This is The Great Reset unfolding before our eyes, and the only way we can stop it (other than through constant prayer) is to stand together and spread the truth.
Covid-19’s attachment to The Great Reset is obvious, though we continue to post about it daily. Voter fraud is a bit less obvious but nonetheless easy to recognize when we understand that people like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, and Emmanuel Macron are pushing to “Build Back Better” under the precepts of Neo-Marxism.
The Afghanistan betrayal in August, 2021, is harder to associate with The Great Reset, but it’s definitely just as attached. We can see this is the unwillingness of the Biden regime to extend the deadline to withdraw despite American lives put clearly in harm’s way. We can see it in the needlessly abandoned military equipment that was conspicuously left intact; disabling a Black Hawk takes minutes but they were given to the Taliban in pristine working condition. Then, there’s the pallets of hundred dollar bills left for them. If you think all of this was just irresponsible governance, you probably think Barack Obama is out of politics, too.
Weakening America’s standing in the world and empowering the Chinese Communist Party and others to engage fully with our enemies in a globalist cabal are beneficial to the architects of The Great Reset, and both happened in one fell swoop in August.
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Promo for Mike Lindell's New Daily Show
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