Biden in Wisconsin: The US Is ‘Getting Back to Exporting Products, Not Jobs’

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President Joe Biden speaks at Ingeteam, a Milwaukee manufacturer of chargers for electric vehicles, on Aug. 15, 2023. (Image from pool video feed.)

By Pat Kreitlow

August 15, 2023

Appearing at an event in Milwaukee, President Joe Biden highlighted the growth of manufacturing and green energy jobs in Wisconsin because of the Inflation Reduction Act, with a focus on middle-class jobs.

President Joe Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in Wisconsin on Tuesday, touting its multi-billion dollar impact on the state’s economy through the addition of manufacturing jobs.

Biden delivered his remarks at Ingeteam, a Milwaukee maker of electric vehicle chargers, which is expanding and adding “several hundred new, well-paying jobs over the next five years,” according to a recent company announcement.

Citing that and other examples, Biden said companies have committed more than $3 billion to invest in manufacturing and clean energy initiatives in Wisconsin so far during his presidency because of his initiatives.

“It’s really kind of basic: we just decided to invest in America again,” Biden said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Also timed to Biden’s trip, multinational tech firm Siemens is set to announce that it will start manufacturing solar inverters in Kenosha County, a move prompted by increased demand spurred by the tax incentives from the IRA.

“Where is it written that America can’t lead the world again in manufacturing?” the president added. “I came to office determined to move away from trickle-down economics and focus on the middle class.”

The president talked up the investments made and the jobs created because of the IRA, the CHIPS Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—not only from the standpoint of a president, but as a candidate for reelection making a well-timed stop in a closely-divided state. Biden came to Milwaukee as several Republican presidential candidates prepare to come to the city, scene of next week’s first GOP primary debate of the 2024 campaign.

As he does frequently in Wisconsin, Biden singled out Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for pointed criticism—bringing up previous remarks from Johnson that suggested the senator supported outsourcing some types of US manufacturing jobs.

Biden took a different approach, doubling down on protecting jobs here at home.

“We’re getting back to exporting products, not jobs,” the president said.

Unlike Johnson, Biden pointed out that Wisconsin’s other senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, had played a key role in America’s resurgence in manufacturing by securing “Buy American” language in legislation affecting everything from circuitry to road construction.

Rather than mention Trump—his likely 2024 opponent—by name, Biden referred to his shortcomings during his first term, highlighting Trump’s embrace of “the conservative Republican view, the so-called MAGA view, which is focused on corporate profits.”

But his digs at his predecessor were unmistakable.

“Infrastructure month?” Biden said, mocking a frequent but undelivered Trump promise, “We’re having an infrastructure decade, baby!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Author

  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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