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U.S. Manufacturing Priorities for the Biden Administration and 117th Congress

Tuesday, June 29, 202111:00 AM to 12:15 PM EST
Virtual Webinar

Event Summary

The Biden administration and 117th Congress are developing a wide range of executive orders and legislation to stimulate manufacturing competitiveness. Bills such as the Endless Frontiers Act, the Innovation Centers Acceleration Act, and the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy Act, among others, would increase R&D investments, bolster the manufacturing workforce, empower regional manufacturing communities, address supply chain and reshoring objectives, expand the Manufacturing USA and Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs, and even reimagine the way federal government structures its approach to stimulating manufacturing innovation.

This event was not recorded.

Webinar Summary

The panel was moderated by Matt Bogoshian, Executive Director of AMCC. Opening remarks were given by Tulinda Larsson, Executive Director of the Utah Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative, and Sarah Lee, Director of Economic Development & Advanced Manufacturing at the Washington State Department of Commerce. [GS1]

Jon Cardinal, Director of Economic Development for Senator Chuck Schumer, introduced the recently passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act as a comprehensive and bipartisan package of proposals to further manufacturing commitments and advance U.S. competitiveness. USICA, which began as the Endless Frontiers Act, included historic manufacturing provisions, such as increases in funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Manufacturing USA program, and R&D efforts across federal agencies. USICA considers both geographic diversity of competition and racial equity and inclusion in building a workforce.

Mark Muro, Fellow and Policy Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, commended the bipartisan embrace of national manufacturing policy and the far-reaching measures of USICA. He noted that USICA represents a significant agreement that the government has a role to play in spurring advancements and competitiveness. USICA, through its emphasis on regional advancement, amounts to the strongest recognition yet that national competitiveness emerges from regional vitality. However, uncertainty exists as the total R&D investment level is still well below international leaders and the recently passed bills in the House leave out manufacturing policy to focus more on traditional priorities.

Susan Helper, Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors, spoke about how the Biden administration plans to address problems faced by U.S. manufactures. On the supply side, the Buy America Act seeks to streamline government procurement from U.S. manufacturers as the administration aims to improve supplier scouting and remove barriers for U.S. firms. On the demand side, the recently released 100-day review on building resilient supply chains identified several issues, such as collective action problems within and between firms, foreign subsidies and trade agreements, financialization pressuring profit over investment, and powerful firms monopolizing the market. In response, the administration has established a Supply Chains Disruptions Task Force, the Department of Defense is investing in rare earth element mining, and the Department of Health plans to create a public-private consortium for the onshoring of domestic essential medicines.

Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy at ITIF emphasized the importance of preserving and enhancing the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem. The U.S. has the capability to employ at least 2-3 million more Americans in high-skill, high-paying manufacturing jobs and capture a greater share of global production of advanced technologies. The Biden administration’s supply chain review found five key vulnerabilities and proposed several solutions, such as expanding EX-IM's use of existing authorities to support domestic manufacturing and creating a Presidential Forum with like-minded nations on supply chain resilience. The Buy America order tightens domestic content rules but, Ezell warns, the high demands may lead to an increase in prices or decrease of procurement. Rather, Ezell suggests that President Biden limit government procurement access to allied nations who genuinely adhere to free-trade principles.

Dr. Ronald Williams, Director of Strategic Entrepreneurship Center at Coppin State University, spoke on viewing the work of the Biden administration and 117th Congress through the lens of diversity and inclusion. When analyzing the recent legislation and order through a DEI perspective, four pillars should be considered: the transregional emphasis on geographic diversity, expanded educational opportunity, improved institutional capacity, and access to opportunity for all. The supply chain order strengthens DEI by encouraging advancements in communities of color and economically distressed areas while USICA supports research labs at historically black and minority-serving instructions. These commitments will help build the infrastructure that allows underrepresented populations to participate and compete in the workforce. Additionally, the proposed Senate-confirmed Chief Diversity Officer at the National Science Foundation signals the importance of DEI for the office.


Jon Cardinal
Director of Economic Development
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
Stephen Ezell@sjezell
Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, and Director, Center for Life Sciences Innovation
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Susan Helper
Senior Economist
White House Council of Economic Advisers
Mark Muro
Fellow and Policy Director
Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
Ronald Williams
Director of Strategic Entrepreneurship Center
Coppin State University
Matt Bogoshian
Executive Director
American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative
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