U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. recently announced that it would be scaling back production at several plants amid the semiconductor chip shortage. Volkswagen is warning that the crisis is choking its manufacturing capabilities. Sony believes that falling PS5 products will continue heading into 2022, potentially hurting the Christmas rush. From washing machines to televisions to toasters, international commerce has been severely disrupted, and the marketplace may not return to pre-coronavirus times until late next year. Who or what is to blame for the mess? Perhaps the red dragon’s fire is flaming the worldwide chip shortage.
Article by Andrew Moran from Liberty Nation.
A Chip On China’s Shoulder
The global economy is going through a commodities supercycle right now. Simultaneous foreign demand for grains, energy, and raw materials is soaring. Supplies and output are lagging. This is a dangerous recipe for rampant price inflation that may not subside anytime soon.
It might be easy to surmise that semiconductors fall into this category, too: increased demand and inadequate supply in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. However, as Liberty Nation’s Dave Patterson reported, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been sounding the alarm about today’s crisis for a few years, warning about the growing problems with the supply chain that would lead to demand outpacing stocks.
Financial markets are pointing to declining memory chip prices since 2019 and secular tailwinds for the ongoing mess in 2021. The new administration wants to toss $50 billion at the problem by increasing output capacity. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told a virtual conference of the Council of the Americas:
“Right now, we make 0% of leading-edge chips in the United States. That’s a problem. We ought to be making 30%, because that matches our demand. So, we will promise to work hard every day, and in the short term also see if we can have more chips available so the automakers can reopen their factories.”
How long would it take for American companies to ramp up the production of these chips? Experts predict about a decade, even with sustained investment, to achieve the 30% threshold. In the meantime, President Joe Biden is in talks with Taiwan to prioritize U.S. firms to boost supply. This could amplify geopolitical tensions with Beijing, something that may exacerbate the divide between Taipei and the Chinese leadership.
China’s tech companies are aggressively stockpiling chips and chip-making equipment out of fear that Washington would slap sanctions on the country. In March, General Administration of Customs data highlight that China imported a record 58.9 billion semiconductor units, valued at nearly $36 billion. Overall, in the first quarter, the nation’s imports topped 155 billion units worth $93.6 billion. But the recent hoarding pales in comparison to the years-long shift in policy that has had allowed China to hold 80% of global reserves of rare-earth metals that are critical to manufacturing semiconductors in solar panels, batteries, and electronics.
“Although the Chinese government’s language is subtle, the message is clear: It is exploring the possibility of weaponizing its dominance in the rare-earth-mineral market in a potential trade war with America. Its proposal is perceived as a warning shot.
Biden’s announced plans to phase out fossil fuels will make the United States even more heavily reliant on China.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently called the chip shortage a “huge problem.” But since the “Dogefather” is laying the foundation of an important presence in the world’s second-largest economy, Tesla could receive a portion of the chips at its Giga factory. For the rest of the U.S. economy, China holds the golden ticket for the average consumer to purchase a new smartphone, video game console, or toaster. How will America survive without toasters?
And For What?
Despite the U.S. being engaged in an 18-month trade war with China, what does America have to show for it? Washington’s trade deficit widened to a record high of $74.4 billion in March as imports surged 6.3% to an all-time high of $274.5 billion. Exports jumped 6.6% to their best level in 13 months to $200.3 billion. The significant revelation from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) report is that America’s trade gap with China increased 22% to $36.9 billion and 23.5% with Mexico. Was the U.S. not supposed to be exporting more than it was taking in from China at this point? And what about the USMCA?
The whiplash in the financial markets, agony for many families in the Midwest, and business journalists rewriting their news articles were all for naught as the U.S. continues to rely on China for personal protective equipment (PPE), consumer goods, and, yes, chips.
Read more from Andrew Moran.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $4100 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.