PS5, Xbox component shortage to be investigated as part of new Biden executive order

The US has felt the impact of recent shortages and supply chain backups, including for computer chips and medical supplies.

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A global semiconductor chip shortage has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.  

Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order intended to improve the supply chain for semiconductor chips and other critical resources. The order launches a 100-day review of supply chains across four key industries: semiconductors, critical minerals, pharmaceuticals and large capacity-batteries for electric vehicles. The review aims to identify near-term steps the administration can take, including working with lawmakers in Congress, to mitigate supply chain risks, according to the White House. 

"We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable," Biden said, adding that semiconductor chips power everything from cars to phones to medical devices. 

The US has felt the impact of global chip shortages, with some automakers reportedly halting production in the US due to a lack of chips that help control everything from engines to air bags. The chip shortage also contributed to stock issues for electronics, including for the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, both of which have been sold out in the US and globally.

The White House also highlighted the shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic

The order also calls for a longer, more in-depth review of a broader range of supply chains that are critical for the US, including in defense, public health and energy sectors. 

Biden meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday afternoon to discuss the US supply chain before signing the executive order. 

"This is a critical area where Republicans and Democrats agree," Biden said.

See also: The Biden presidency: What it means for tech