Former Vice President Joe Biden is rolling out an economic plan that includes a pitch to boost American manufacturing and technology firms months after White House advisers reportedly held off on an executive order that sought similar ends.
Biden is reportedly expected to announce the new plan Thursday. The plan seeks a $400 billion, four-year increase in government buying of U.S. products, alongside purchasing $300 billion in new research on tech issues. His plan also includes a move making it more difficult for agencies to circumvent so-called “Buy American” laws.
“This will be the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and (research and development) since World War II,” Biden senior adviser Jake Sullivan told the Associated Press Thursday. (RELATED: ‘Buy American’ — White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China)
A similar move was proposed in March by White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, but the potential executive order was put on hold after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior adviser Jared Kushner expressed reservations, The Washington Post reported in April, citing three anonymous officials.
Navarro’s proposed executive order, if signed by the president, would require the federal government to purchase medical supplies and pharmaceuticals manufactured inside the United States, a move designed to limit the country’s reliance on products from China and elsewhere.
The president publicly expressed a desire to sign the order, but Mnuchin privately warned Trump that making major shifts on supply chains could hurt a fragile economy, the Post reported. Kushner shares Mnuchin’s concerns, two of the officials said. The president’s son-in-law is reportedly focused on responding to the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic originated in Wuhan, China before spreading to the United States, where it has reportedly killed more than 130,000 people. City and state officials began instituting draconian economic lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus. Their orders resulted in mass job losses as well as a historic economic downturn.
“This is straight out of Peter Navarro’s executive order,” Curtis Ellis, a policy director with America First Policies, told a Post reporter Thursday. Navarro chimed in as well, telling Stein that “Bernstein is an economic nationalist … his handprints are all over this.” Navarro was referring to Biden economic adviser Jared Bernstein.
Meanwhile, the Trump re-election campaign and the president’s surrogates have worked to paint Biden as a puppet of Beijing.
America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, is reportedly spending $10 million testing advertisement labeling that describe the former vice president as “Beijing Biden” in three key state that help get Trump elected in 2016 — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
“For 47 years the DC Elite has made one country great — Joe Biden has led the charge ,” the narrator in the super PAC ad states as a compilation of clips show Biden stating “that a rising China is a positive development” and “we’re not trying to slow down Chinese growth.”
The White House has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the future of Navarro’s order.
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