President Joe Biden said his policies are creating a US manufacturing renaissance, seeking to rally skeptical Americans behind his economic agenda on the first anniversary of the passage of one of its pillars.
(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden said his policies are creating a US manufacturing renaissance, seeking to rally skeptical Americans behind his economic agenda on the first anniversary of the passage of one of its pillars.
Biden spoke at a wind-energy plant that symbolizes the promise of his industrial policy: creating good-paying jobs and bringing “supply chains back home” while spurring the nation’s efforts to fight climate change.
“For the longest time we’ve been told to give up on American manufacturing. That can’t happen again,” Biden said Wednesday at a groundbreaking for a Arcosa Wind Towers Inc. facility in New Mexico. “America used to lead the world in manufacturing. We’re going to do it again.”
Biden is on a three-state western swing to convince voters the economy is on strong ground under his stewardship. Wednesday’s event came on the one-year mark of the CHIPS and Science Act, a $52 billion measure to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and counter Chinese dominance of the industry.
While the law could take years to bear full fruit, Biden said the financial and tax incentives he has signed into law have helped buoy the overall US economy.
“Our plan is working,” he said.
The law is one of several measures Biden has signed, along with Democrats’ climate, health and tax law — the Inflation Reduction Act — and a bipartisan infrastructure bill, that he credits with spurring a manufacturing construction surge and says will create high-wage jobs and make the US less reliant on goods made overseas.
Read more: Biden Touts US ‘Factory Boom’ in Bid to Sell Voters on Economy
The Arcosa wind-tower facility will create 250 new jobs in New Mexico, according to the White House. The site was previously a Solo Cup factory that shut down in 2008, costing 200 people their jobs. Biden has visited manufacturing sites across the country to highlight how his policies are already aiding local communities.
Biden said the wind towers would go into turbines made by GE Vernova that would ultimately be used by Pattern Energy Group LP for the largest wind farm in the western hemisphere.
The president, though, has been frustrated he is not getting credit for the manufacturing rebound or other positive economic data such as cooling inflation, strong gross domestic product and job growth. Polls show voters still disapprove of his handling of the economy. Reversing those perceptions will be critical to securing reelection in 2024.
The CHIPS Act aims to bring manufacturing of semiconductors to the US through billions in subsidies and tax breaks. Biden said the law was bringing production home, citing plans by companies to develop facilities in Ohio, New York, Arizona and New Mexico. Biden pointed to Intel Corp.’s $3.5 billion expansion in New Mexico, which he said would create 700 jobs, many of which don’t require a college degree.
“I went though an awful long time watching companies over the last 15 years decide to invest overseas because labor was cheaper, shutting down factories all across America — all across America. I asked myself, why do we have to put up with that,” Biden said Wednesday.
“It’s a simple proposition: We decided we’re going to invest in America,” he added.
But there are questions on whether voters will see the impact before they head to the polls.
Biden suffered a setback last month when Taiwan’s biggest chip maker said it was forced to delay production at a flagship project in Arizona, a key battleground state.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said it would not start production at the Arizona plant until 2025 — after the US presidential election, citing a shortage in skilled labor as well as costs in the US as reasons for the postponement. Biden visited the Arizona site last December, joined by Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and other tech industry executives.
–With assistance from Gregory Korte.
(Updates with additional details on Arcosa in 8th paragraph)
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