Biden releases $700 billion 'Buy American' plan that echoes Trump's economic nationalism

Associated Press
  • Joe Biden rolled out a $US700 billion “Buy American” plan that mirrors Trump’s economic nationalism with a renewed focus on domestic manufacturing and job creation in the US.
  • The two main components anchoring the proposal are a purchasing initiative to bolster demand for US-made goods and services, and investments in research and breakthrough technologies.
  • Trump campaigned in 2016 to bring back jobs from overseas and repeatedly blasted China’s trade relationship with the US, and he sparked a trade war.
  • Democrats are pushing to restore supply chains in the US with tax incentives due to shortages exposed by the pandemic.
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Joe Biden unveiled a $US700 billion “Buy American” plan that echoes President Donald Trump’s economic nationalism on Thursday, aiming to revive a sputtering economy with a renewed focus on domestic manufacturing and creating jobs in the US.

The proposal has two main components anchoring it:

  • A $US400 billion purchasing initiative to ramp up demand for US-made products and services.
  • A $US300 billion investment in American research and technology. Half of that would be directed in clean energy research that was previously announced by the Biden campaign.

The Biden campaign says its approach would generate 5 million jobs that were lost this year due to the pandemic and create another 5 million new ones. The former vice president is also calling to crack down on false advertising of products made overseas with “Buy American” labels and close loopholes around related provisions.


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Part of the plan would be financed by partially rolling back the Trump tax cuts enacted in 2017 and also implementing “common-sense tax reforms that finally make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.” The campaign did not release any further details.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on bringing back jobs from overseas, and assailed China’s trade relationship with the US in particular. He embarked on a trade war that saw hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tariffs levied on Chinese goods.

Both China and the US signed an interim trade deal earlier this year, though the president has repeatedly blasted Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. At one point in May,Trump threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with China.

Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s top trade advisers, has pushed for an executive order compelling federal agencies to buy medical supplies and pharmaceutical goods produced in the US, though it hasn’t gained traction in the White House, The Washington Post reported.

Many Democrats, however, have also pushed to bring back overseas supply chains in the face of medical-gear shortages in the US with tax incentives.

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