Biden visited a Mack Truck plant today in Pennsylvania to explore the facilities and deliver remarks on his new “Buy American” efforts and the importance of American manufacturing.
The visit is part of the administration’s long-standing goal to revitalize an industry that has consistently lost jobs over the decades. Through multiple avenues Biden has taken on the struggling sectors of the American economy.
The Biden administration has championed a $973 billion infrastructure package with investments in clean energy and factory jobs.
Biden said he aimed to “rebuild the backbone of the country, hard working middle class folks who built this country.”
To do that, Biden spotlighted the value of good-paying union jobs in the US. He said he rejects the “defeatist view” surrounding the forces of automation and globalization, instead looking forward to an American-based future.
“Our manufacturing future, our economic future, our solutions to the climate crisis are all going to be made in America,” said Biden.
He followed with commitments to make his goals more than a “hollow promise”. The first is his long-standing “Build Back Better” plan with investments in physical infrastructure like roads and bridges. The plan also aims to add change to education, with universal pre-k and two years of free community college.
The access to education and structural improvements, Biden said, would bring more people into the workforce for a myriad of reasons.
The president didn’t stop there. He laid out a simple philosophy for the administration’s goal.
“I can sum it up in two words: Buy. American,” said Biden.
He expanded on the phrase, explaining that there’s been a largely ignored law on the books in America that ensures tax dollars spent on goods are being spent on things built in America.
Past administrations have fallen onto outsourcing production to cheaper labor, but Biden made clear that the new philosophy is to be taken seriously.
He announced the creation of a “Made in America” office in the White House that will oversee these efforts. Biden declared that he told all his Cabinet members that “they got to buy something that all of it has been made in America.”
The president then announced an overhaul in the current Buy America Act, this time targeting production requirements to be considered a product of the USA. The budget office will now require 75% domestic content to be “made in America”, an increase from the 55% of years prior.
Biden touched briefly on supply chains, which have seen shortages and bottlenecking throughout the pandemic. He said the administration will create new rules for critical products to strengthen at risk supply chains.
After a long list of plans, Biden pivoted his attention back to the ones who make it all happen: the workers.
“Hard working Americans are the ones who are gonna make it happen,” said Biden, “we’ve got to invest in you.”