Biden plugs manufacturing initiative at Ohio metal company
HAMILTON, Ohio — President Joe Biden pledged Friday that 3D printing technology would help return factory jobs to the U.S. and reduce inflationary pressures as he traveled to an industrial Midwestern state with a Senate seat in play to make his case for the future of manufacturing.
Inflation at a 40-year high and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have caused growing uneasiness about the economy among voters. Biden is taking over the presidency partly because he believes that his policies in areas ranging from infrastructure and computer chips will create a more resilient economy.
“The economic crisis we inherited, the pandemic in Haiti, and Putin’s war against Ukraine have all demonstrated the vulnerability of being too dependent on foreign goods. “We learned the hard way that we can’t fight inflation if supply chains buckle and send prices through the roof every time there’s a disruption.”
Biden went to United Performance Metals in Hamilton to highlight commitments by five leading U.S. manufacturers to boost their reliance on small and medium American firms for 3D printing. The program will be offered to GE Aviation, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Siemens Energy. The president visited the factory with executives.
The promise of 3D printing is that it could reverse the outsourcing of factory jobs and industrial production, allowing for more components to be manufactured in the U.S. An analysis by the consulting firm Kearney estimated that the technology could produce $600 billion to $900 billion in economic value by enabling more production domestically. The president also asked Congress to approve a stalled Competition and Innovation bill. The Democratic president believes it is crucial to boost domestic manufacturing and help solve the semiconductor shortage that has prevented production of life-saving medical devices and smartphones, as well as other modern conveniences.
” Pass the damn bill and get it to me,” Biden stated in his remarks Friday.
Biden visited Ohio, where a vacant Senate seat was up for grabs due to the retirement of Republican Rob Portman. This was shortly after its primary elections. Rep. Tim Ryan easily won the Democratic nomination Tuesday and will face Republican JD Vance, author of the memoir “Hillbilly Elegy.” Ohio would be a difficult pickup for Democrats, as the state backed former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election by 8 points.
GE Aviation and Raytheon set a goal of looking to small and medium firms for 50% of their requests for quotes for products requiring 3D printing or related technologies.
Siemens Energy committed to targeting 20% to 40% of externally sourced 3D print parts and will work with 10 to 20 small and medium firms to help improve their capability. Lockheed Martin has committed to working with smaller suppliers to improve 3D printing’s use as an alternative to castings or forgings. Honeywell offers technical assistance to small and medium suppliers, including part design, data generation and post-processing. The semiconductor chip problem has been growing since major Asian chip factories were shut down by the coronavirus pandemic more than two years ago. It could continue beyond this year, despite efforts by the semiconductor industry to meet demand.
There is bipartisan support for increasing domestic chip production. However, lawmakers in the Senate as well as the House need to resolve differences.
The House in February passed a version of the legislation that could pump $52 billion in grants and subsidies to the semiconductor industry to help boost U.S. production. The bill must be reconciled to the Senate version that was passed eight months ago.
House Democrats also included other priorities that have raised concerns about the bill’s cost and scope.
The bill includes $8 billion for a fund that helps developing countries adjust to climate change; $3 billion for facilities to make the U.S. less reliant on Chinese solar components; $4 billion to help communities with significantly higher unemployment than the national average; and $10.5 billion for states to stockpile drugs and medical equipment.
Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
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