Biden Pitches $700B Plan to 'Buy American'

Federal government would become a bigger customer under proposal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2020 4:42 PM CDT
Biden Pitches $700B Plan to 'Buy American'
Former Vice President Joe Biden finishes speaking at McGregor Industries in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Launching an economic pitch expected to anchor his fall presidential campaign, Joe Biden is proposing using the federal government’s regulatory and spending power to bolster US manufacturing and technology firms. Biden calls for a $400 billion, four-year increase in government purchasing of US-based goods and services, plus $300 billion in new research and development in US technology concerns, the AP reports. Among other policies announced Thursday, he proposes tightening current "Buy American" laws that are intended to benefit US firms but can be easily circumvented by government agencies. An outline released by Biden's campaign also touts his long-standing promises to strengthen workers' collective bargaining rights and repeal Republican-backed tax breaks for US corporations that move jobs overseas.

"It's not sufficient to build back. We have to build back better," Biden said Thursday, per the AP, promising he’d "ensure all Americans are in on the deal." An adviser said the program would be "the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and (research and development) since World War II." The former vice president spoke at a metal works concern in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, in the first of a series of addresses as he shifts his line of attack against President Trump to the economy. Biden wants to capitalize on his union ties and win back working-class voters who went for Trump in 2016. Aides said the overall package is aimed at immediate recovery from the pandemic recession and addressing systemic inequalities Biden says are "laid bare" by the nation's reckoning with racism.

(More Joe Biden 2020 stories.)

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