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Biden accuses US of getting ‘lazy’ in sending manufacturing jobs to China

Fox Business 11/29/2022 Bradford Betz
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President Joe Biden on Tuesday suggested that manufacturing jobs, rather than products, were sent overseas to China and elsewhere because the United States became "lazy." 

The president made those remarks during an appearance in Bay City, Mich., where he toured a technology plant to highlight a $300 million expansion. 

US President Joe Biden speaks at the SK Silton CSS facility in Bay City, Michigan, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks at the SK Silton CSS facility in Bay City, Michigan, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The South Korean company SK Siltron is expected to quadruple its production in the coming years at the plant. It's the latest in a series of massive foreign investments in the U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors trumpeted by Biden amid a push by his administration to on-shore production of key components and products, after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed long-simmering supply chain issues to the brink.

While touting the achievements of his administration, Biden said investing in domestic chip production will bring the supply chain to the United States rather than "relying on chips made overseas in places like China."

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"We invented the chip in America. Then we got lazy. Federal investment helped reduce the cost of creating … an entire industry that America led," Biden said. "As a result, over 30 years ago, America produced 30% of all the chips in the world. 

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"Then something happened. American manufacturing, the backbone of our economy, got hollowed out. Companies began to move jobs overseas instead of products overseas because it was cheaper for them," Biden said. "And guess what? A lot of businesses got greedy. Go to the cheap labor overseas. Well, now we’re sending good products overseas made by first-class labor folks." 

The U.S. Senate voted to give China permanent most-favored nation status on Sept. 19, 2000, paving the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. As a senator, Biden consistently voted in favor of MFN status for China since it was first granted during the Carter administration in 1980.

US President Joe Biden speaks at the SK Silton CSS facility in Bay City, Michigan, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks at the SK Silton CSS facility in Bay City, Michigan, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has argued that this move led to the so-called "China Trade Shock," that destroyed some two million American jobs and led to a surge of business investment in China that ultimately strengthened the CCP. 

Biden highlighted historic investments in U.S. manufacturing, saying "we did so much that no one knows the effects of it yet," and touted his efforts to lower gas prices.

"It's part of a broader story about the economy we're building that works for everybody," he said.

Biden appeared with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who just won reelection in a closely watched race. Whitmer's double-digit margin of victory over Tudor Dixon, a Republican who had denied the 2020 election results, has burnished her standing within her party.

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"People want to come and invest here," Biden said as he toured the factory. "We exported more jobs than products. Now we're back in the business of exporting products, not jobs."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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