Washington: Having learnt the bitter lessons of disruptions in supply chain during and after the COVID-19 crisis, Joe Biden wants the entire system of producing and delivering a product or service to start and end in the US to reduce “vulnerability”, according to Bharat Ramamurti, the President’s top economic advisor.
Ramamurti said the Biden administration is looking to build up the American manufacturing capacity in key areas like clean energy production, semiconductors and related industries as well as anything related to infrastructure.
“We have tried to make America a good place to invest for those types of companies that have a choice in terms of where to put their money. We are offering not only the best-trained workforce in the world, a highly reliable legal system, but also strong incentives to locate production in the United States,” Ramamurti, Deputy Director of President’s National Economic Council and his Advisor for Strategic Economic Communications, told PTI in an interview.
Such a policy, he asserted, is not just about jobs.
The world has reported global supply chain delays over the past two years caused firstly by the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in staff shortages at factories and ports in China and other countries, and also on cargo ships.
“The president has made clear that it reduces our vulnerability. We saw during the pandemic that when you rely on products that are made either in China or in Southeast Asia or elsewhere if you have a disruption in that country or you have disruptions to international shipping, all of a sudden, we can’t make the products that we need to make because we’re missing some of the key inputs that were supposed to be delivered from abroad,” he said.
“Or maybe the costs go up tremendously because of disruptions abroad, reducing the supply. The president wants our supply chains to start and end here in the United States. And the types of investment we’ve seen over the last several months are moving us closer to that reality,” the Indian-American attorney and political advisor said in response to a question.
He said the policies of the US President have resulted in $400 billion worth of private investment coming into the country over the last two years.
“A sharp increase from the years before that and lots of good jobs created across the country. President was in North Carolina earlier this week to talk about a new production facility that was being built there,” he said.
A total of $20 billion was invested in Ohio outside of Columbus for new semiconductors by Intel. Micron is investing $100 billion in New York and new production there.
“So, these are good paying jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, and jobs that can support a family. And at the same time, uh, protecting our financial security, our economic security, and our national security,” the President’s advisor said.
He said now was a “great time” to invest in the United States.
“We are now offering a very hospitable environment for investing, especially if you’re investing in areas like clean energy production, semiconductors and related industries and, anything related to infrastructure,” Ramamurti said.
“We are looking to build up the American manufacturing capacity in those key areas. So, if you’re abroad and have skills or an idea that fits into that set of issues, I think it’s worth looking at the United States. It is not just the incentives that have been put into our tax code and, otherwise, it’s the quality of workers here in the United States,” he said.
“It’s the kind of legal system that we have. It is access to capital markets, thanks to our securities laws and the Securities and Exchange Commission. There’s a lot that should be appealing about investing here. And again, you’re seeing that with over $400 billion worth of private investment in the United States over the last two years,” he said.
Responding to a question on the Boeing-Air India deal, he said India and the United States enjoy a “very close” relationship.
The Boeing deal creates a massive number of jobs, not just directly at Boeing, but the most important part in many ways is that all of the different parts that go into the airplane, a lot of those are manufactured across America, Ramamurti said.
And then all of the small businesses who contribute to helping those companies along the supply chain, all of them benefit from this kind of manufacturing deal, he added.
“Largely that’s why the President has been so focused on manufacturing, because not only is it important for our national security for us to make more things here, but manufacturing jobs tend to be high quality, high paying jobs. And they produce additional supporting jobs, further down the supply chain or for small businesses that are located around where new manufacturing capacity would be,” Ramamurti said.
“So that’s the kind of economy that the president is looking to build. He’s talked a lot about wanting to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out rather than from the top down, which we have seen unfortunately, be the prevailing economic philosophy, particularly among the Republican Party for the last 20 or 30 years.
“We have a very different vision and what we have seen so far is that it’s good for business, it’s good for American consumers, it’s good for American families, and we’re going to keep at it,” he said.
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