Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Biden touts new Siemens jobs, new standards for “Buy America” products

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President Biden and Siemens USA said Friday the company will create 300 new jobs in California and Texas in a $54 million expansion of its manufacturing facilities as the White House pushes to bolster domestic production and reduce American reliance on foreign powers for electronics and other products.

The president touted the Siemens expansion as part of an update to the Buy American Act, which sets requirements for determining whether products bear the label of being “made in the U.S.A.”

“We’re not waiting for others to manufacture the products we invented. We know what to do, we know how to manufacture things in America,” he said from the White House.

The administration is raising the threshold from the current 55% components made in the U.S. to 60% in October, and phasing in to 75% in 2029. Officials said the requirement will encourage U.S. manufacturers to focus more on domestic supply chains.

“When I ran and got elected, I said I wanted to rebuild America. This is what I was talking about,” Mr. Biden said. “Today, I’m placing a bet on America. Our manufacturing future, our economic future, our solutions to the climate crisis. They’re all going to be made in America.”
The event featured a grand entrance to “Hail to the Chief” and cheers from Siemens workers who watched via video feed from Pomona, California, and Grand Prairie, Texas.

Mr. Biden and Siemens President and CEO Barbara Humpton said the company’s expanded operations will focus on critical electrical infrastructure that supports everything from electric vehicle chargers to data centers to industrial sites.

Its electric-vehicle hub will manufacture more than 1 million chargers over the next four years, according to Ms. Humpton.

She said the company is actively recruiting for 2,400 jobs and that new technology “will not automate people out of the process.”

Mr. Biden boasted that employers have added 7.4 million jobs over the course of his presidency, as the economy tries to regain its footing from the pandemic doldrums.

“Americans are back to work. Yes, family budgets are still tight but more Americans are getting paychecks this year,” Mr. Biden said.
The president said the coronavirus has receded enough to let Americans “remove their masks, return to work and move forward safely,” though he acknowledged that challenges remain and he needs to create jobs and cut consumers’ costs.

“It’s been punishing and we’re coming back,” he said. “So many families are still struggling to make ends meet because of inflation. I understand our top priority must be getting prices under control.”

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