Buying American-made is a hot topic once again during a presidential election, with the Democratic challenger pushing for significant investment in domestic manufacturing and innovation.
“Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a populist economic vision to revive and reinvest in American manufacturing on Thursday, calling for major new spending and stricter new rules to “Buy American” as part of an effort to more aggressively challenge President Trump on two of his signature issues: the economy and nationalism.
In a speech in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Mr. Biden slashed at Mr. Trump for a bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic that has deepened the economic crisis and a misplaced focus on the stock market, while framing his own economic agenda around a new campaign tagline, ‘Build Back Better.’
Mr. Biden said his plans would leverage trade, tax and investment policy to spur domestic innovation, reduce the reliance on foreign manufacturing and create five million additional American manufacturing and innovation jobs.
‘I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,’ Mr. Biden said, speaking at a metalworks factory in Dunmore not far from this childhood home of Scranton, a place where Mr. Biden often returns rhetorically to emphasize his blue-collar roots.
On the same day, Vice President Mike Pence embarked on a Trump campaign bus tour across Pennsylvania, a sign of the state’s significance in the Electoral College calculations of both campaigns.
Mr. Biden’s campaign is riding high in the polls but his advisers, as well as Republican strategists, still see the economy as perhaps the area of greatest vulnerability against Mr. Trump. The president’s campaign — and the president himself when on message — has tried to argue that he oversaw a booming economy until the coronavirus pandemic brought about an ‘artificial’ slowdown . . .
Mr. Biden has long cast himself as a champion of the American worker, particularly as vice president, when he led the Obama administration’s Middle Class Task Force and oversaw implementation of the 2009 economic stimulus bill. But he has faced criticism from Mr. Trump and from former liberal rivals like Senator Bernie Sanders over his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s and other trade deals that followed . . .
The Pennsylvania speech is the first of several steps Mr. Biden is taking in the coming weeks to detail an expanded economic agenda, beyond what he proposed in the primaries. On Thursday, Mr. Biden specifically proposed a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies like electric vehicles and 5G cellular networks, as well as an additional $400 billion in federal procurement spending on products that are manufactured in the United States.”
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