Biden to tell Ohioans his policies will revive manufacturing

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden wants to put the spotlight on a rare bipartisan down payment on U.S. manufacturing when he visits Ohio on Friday for the groundbreaking of a new Intel computer chip facility.

Biden travels to suburban Columbus to make a victory lap, just as Ohioans are beginning to pay attention to the closely contested Senate race between Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan (Democratic) and Republican author and venture capitalist JD Vance (Republican). They will be competing in a former swing State that has trended Republican for the past decade.

Intel had delayed groundbreaking on the $20 billion plant until Congress passed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Ryan and the Ohio Republican Governor. Mike DeWine, who will be facing Nan Whaley, a Democrat in his reelection campaign, plans to attend Friday’s groundbreaking.

In his State of the Union address in March, Biden described the Intel plant as a model of a U.S. economic system that revolves around technology and factories, and the middle class. The plant demonstrates how the president wants to revive American manufacturing, even in conservative states.

Chipmaker Micron committed $15 billion for a factory in Idaho, Corning will build an optical fiber facility in Arizona and First Solar plans to construct its fourth solar panel plant in the Southeast, all announcements that stemmed from Biden administration initiatives.

As part of Biden’s visit, Intel will announce that it’s providing $17.7 million to Ohio colleges and universities to develop education programs focused on the computer chips sector.

Factory work is one of the few issues going into November’s midterm elections that has crossover appeal at a time when issues such as abortion, inflation and the nature of democracy have dominated the contest to control Congress.

Ryan was hesitant to share a platform with Biden. This could have a negative impact on his chances of winning in a state that backed Republican Donald Trump with eight points in both 2016 as well as 2020..

Ryan missed the president’s July 6th visit to Cleveland to promote his administration’s efforts in bolstering blue-collar workers’ pension programs. Biden referred to Ryan as the “future senator Tim Ryan” and thanked Ryan for his “incredible effort” in drafting the legislation.

The Youngstown-area congressman has committed to appearing with Biden because of the importance the Intel facility is to a state that has always been defined by its factories, mills, and working-class sensibilities.

” This is a tremendous opportunity,” Ryan said to CNN on Sunday. “The CHIPS Act that we passed is all about reshoring high-end manufacturing jobs.”

Yet in a Thursday TV interview with Youngstown’s WFMJ on the eve of Biden’s visit, Ryan said he is “campaigning as an independent.” When asked if Biden should seek a second term, Ryan said, “My hunch is that we need new leadership across the board, Democrats, Republicans, I think it’s time for like a generational move.”

The open Senate seat in Ohio, currently held by the retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman is one of many hotly contested races which could decide whether Democrats can hold onto their slim majority in Congress for the second half Biden’s term. Several Democrats in competitive races are trying to keep a distance from Biden’s public approval ratings, which have risen in recent weeks but remain low. A spokesman for DeWine said that he also plans to attend this groundbreaking. This makes him one of the few Republicans on the ballot who is willing to share a stage alongside the president. In recent weeks, Biden claimed that extremist Republican lawmakers who refuse the 2020 election results are a threat the democracy. This charge has only exacerbated partisan tensions as the Senate and House of Representatives are at stake.

Vance was the Republican Senate candidate from Ohio and hailed the Intel plant as a “great bipartisan victory” for Ohio. Vance made no mention of Biden, though he specifically praised the “hard work” of GOP lawmakers such as DeWine and Portman. The U.S. and global economy have been plagued by a shortage of semiconductors. It caused a reduction in production of household appliances, autos, and other goods, which led to high inflation. The U.S. also recognized its dependence on Asia for chip manufacturing, creating national security threats.

The combination of high prices and long waiting times for basic goods has made many Americans disgruntled with Biden’s economic leadership. This political weakness has diminished somewhat as gasoline prices have fallen. Many voters are also concerned about the loss in abortion protections following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Wade.

The new law would provide $28 billion in incentives for semiconductor production, $10 billion for new manufacturing of chips and $11 billion for research and development. Similar efforts have been made by China and Europe to increase chip production. This funding is essential for the country’s ability to compete militarily and economically.

Biden has pitched the legislation as a “once-in-a-generation investment in America” that could reduce U.S. dependence on Taiwan and South Korea at a time when China is seeking to expand its presence across Asia and its shipping lanes.

Lawmakers crafted the semiconductor investments to favor areas outside the wealthier coastal cities where tech dominates. This means that New Albany, Ohio, and Johnstown will see a lot of change.

Don Harvey is a Johnstown resident and owner of a sporting goods shop. He likes the idea that a company will make things right again in the United States and provide high-paying jobs for his five grandchildren. Intel has said pay will average $135,000 for its 3,000 Ohio workers.

“What an opportunity in my eyes for Ohio and the United States as a whole,” said the 63-year-old Harvey.

Elyse Priest lives in a subdivision just up the road from the plant, and received a firsthand taste of the construction recently as she watched a huge cloud of dust roll up from the 1,000-acre site currently being leveled. Priest, 38, also knows the road-widening and added traffic will affect her commute to downtown Columbus where she works as a legal assistant.

” I am concerned about losing the small-town feel I love about Johnstown.” Priest stated. “But I know it’s going to be a greater good for the whole state.”

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Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus.

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