Allentown, PA

President Biden Targets the Working Class During Visit to Allentown, Pennsylvania

Ted Rivers

President Biden is back in his home state for a visit to Mack Trucks plant, Macungie PA. The President is here to promote his administration's "buy American" efforts. The president is advocating for clean energy and government investments to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing industry.

The operations facility in Lehigh Valley has 2,500 workers who had the opportunity to meet the President during his visit. The working class has been deeply affected by the pandemic as manufacturing in many industries ceased to exist.
President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with supporters at a community event at Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Henderson, NevadaGage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America

Biden's administration ushered through a stimulus check earlier in the year which helped to ease some burdens. As manufacturing has started to return to normal its workers are worried about the spread of the new delta variant. Any potential lockdowns are likely to have a devastating effect on the industry.

Of course, manufacturing has been on a decline for more than four decades with many jobs lost to overseas competitors. The President's administration has drawn up a $973 billion infrastructure package with the aim of creating many new jobs.

The government wants to use government contracts to create factory jobs in the country. They have also announced $52 billion for the production of computer chips as well as investments in clean energy. Mack Trucks, the facility President Biden visited, have been working on electric-powered garbage trucks.

White House deputy press secretary, Karine Jeanne-Pierre, had this to say:

"The ability to build and sell these new trucks would be helped by the president's proposed investment in buy American production incentives for domestic electric vehicle manufacturing,"

The manufacturing industry has recovered around two-thirds since the outbreak of the pandemic saw the industry decimated. The Labor Department data reported that 1.4 million factory jobs were lost because of Covid-19. The Federal Reserve, which tracks factory output, reports that output has recovered to just below pre-pandemic numbers.

President Biden is not the first to promise to bring back factory jobs, his predecessors have been saying the same thing for decades. The peak employment number for the industry was 19.6 million in 1979. Today that figure stands at around 12.3 million, thanks in part to the recessions that plagued the 00s.

One of the biggest challenges facing manufacturing is the serious lack of computer chips. There is a global shortage and they are an essential component for modern vehicles. President Biden hopes to help tackle this issue as part of his pledge to "buy American."

Although the President was victorious in Lehigh County in last year's election, the working class will be skeptical of his pledge to bring back factory jobs. President Obama made a similar pledge during his two terms in which President Biden was Vice-President. In fact, manufacturing jobs declined during the Obama administration.

"Hopefully, he will use his visit to learn about the real, physical infrastructure needs of Pennsylvanians - and the huge sums of unused 'COVID' funds which should pay for that infrastructure,"

Senator Pat Toomey said of the Presidents visit. He also suggested that the unspent money from the coronavirus relief package could be siphoned off and invested into infrastructure.

President Biden seemingly took aim at the Trump administration when he referred to "buy American" as being a "hollow promise" in recent years. Earlier this year the president signed an executive order to harness the buying power of the federal government to help boost U.S. Manufacturing.

"My administration is going to make Buy American a reality," promised the President.

Mack Trucks is an American company founded in 1900 as the Mack Brothers Company. They are a subsidiary of the Swedish manufacturing giant, Volvo. The company vehicles are manufactured in Lower Macungie, Pennsylvania, and Salem, Virginia.

The business is one of the biggest producers of class 8-13 vehicles in the country. According to Owler, the company has around 4,500 employees and estimated revenue of $428.5 million.

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