MICHIGAN — A two-pronged plan that includes focusing on building and buying American-made products was the focus of a speech Wednesday by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Warren.
Speaking to a socially distanced crowd spread across a parking lot at the United Auto Workers Region 1 headquarters, Biden spoke of maintaining and creating jobs on American soil. He also said President Donald Trump has lied throughout his presidency about promises to prioritize American jobs.
“Donald Trump makes a lot of promises,” Biden said. “He promised that he alone could stop the offshoring jobs. He promised he’d bring back jobs (and) stop companies from leaving.
“He now hopes we don’t notice what he said and won’t remember.”
Biden announced his “Made In America” plan and said he would establish a tax penalty for companies that avoid paying U.S. taxes by offshoring jobs and manufacturing on items sold in the country.
“That could be done here at home by qualified American workers,” Biden said. “I’m not looking to punish American business, but there’s a better way. Make it in Michigan. Make it in America. Invest in our communities and the workers in places like Warren. That’s what this is about.”
Companies would pay a little over a 30 percent tax rate on profits, with a 28 percent corporate tax rate and the additional surtax, Biden said during his speech. The tax will also be added to call centers or services by U.S. companies located overseas but serving the U.S.
A tax credit would also be available for companies creating U.S. jobs, including a 10 percent advanceable credit, Biden said. The credit is available for companies revitalizing closed facilities and bringing jobs back to the U.S.
“Just like there are consequences for offshoring, there are rewards and incentives for creating good-paying jobs here at home,” Biden said.
Biden referred several times to Michigan as the heart of the automobile industry, and he pointed out that his visit to the state came two days after the Labor Day holiday. He said unions built the economy, and he routinely mentioned the importance of the U.S. maintaining its strong world presence among manufacturers.
“I don’t buy for one second the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Biden said. “We have the most qualified workers in the world.”
“The irony of Joe Biden visiting Michigan right after Labor Day to promote his radical job-killing agenda is no doubt lost on him,” Cox said. “We know exactly what a Biden/Harris administration will look like for Michiganders — skyrocketing energy costs, destruction of manufacturing jobs, and an ‘America Last’ foreign policy. The people of Michigan won’t be fooled.”
Prior to addressing his economic plans, Biden took time to commend Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on how she has guided the state through the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you’re wondering what responsible, strong executive leadership looks like in COVID-19, just look at this executive right here,” Biden said, gesturing to Whitmer. “Governor, you’ve done an incredible job steering the people in Michigan through a turbulent time.”
Biden also criticized Trump for his response to the virus, referring to a report from journalist Bob Woodward in his new book, “Rage,” in which the president is quoted as downplaying the severity of the virus while reportedly knowing of its deadly nature.
“He knew how dangerous it was,” Biden said. “He failed to do his job on purpose. It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.”
Biden currently has a 5-point lead over Trump in Michigan, just under a month ahead of the Nov. 3 election, according to a poll conducted by WDIV and The Detroit News. The poll shows Biden a 47 percent to 42 percent advantage, with 1 percent choosing a candidate from a third party. According to the poll, 7 percent of voters remain undecided.
A previous poll conducted by WDIV and The Detroit News in January showed similar numbers.