Taiwan to discuss supply chains with U.S. next week amid auto shortage

TAIPEI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua will hold a virtual meeting with the United States next week to discuss supply chains, with semiconductor firms present, her ministry said on Friday, amid a global shortage of chips used by automakers.

Car factories around the world are shutting assembly lines because of the shortages, which in some cases have been exacerbated by the former U.S. administration’s actions against Chinese chip factories.

Taiwan, home to tech firms like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , the world’s largest contract chip maker, have become front and centre of efforts to resolve the shortage.

Germany’s economy minister has written to Wang to help resolve the problem, and this week she met chip company executives including from TSMC to push them to ramp up production.

Taiwan’s Economics Ministry said in a statement that Wang was expected to hold the meeting on Friday “to work with industry players to promote closer cooperation in the Taiwan-US industrial chain”.

Participants will include representatives of industries from both sides, “not limited to semiconductors”, the ministry said.

“As for the presence of officials from Taiwan and the United States, we welcome it, but the list has not yet been confirmed. We will report it after confirmation,” it said.

TSMC declined to comment on the meeting.

Wang said this week that the United States had been in touch with Taiwan already to discuss the auto chips supply crunch.

The shortage has affected Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, Ford Motor Co F.N, Subaru Corp 7270.T, Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T, Nissan Motor Co Ltd 7201.T, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other car makers. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard Editing by Robert Birsel)