Biden lays out economic agenda to boost American workers at UAW hall

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:16 PM EDT
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WARREN, Mich. (WJRT) - Joe Biden laid out his economic agenda for the United States at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren on Wednesday.

The location was strategically important for the Democratic presidential nominee both to win Macomb County, which voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, and to announce policies to support American workers -- like those represented at the UAW Region 1 hall, where he spoke.

“Make it in Michigan. Make it in America. Invest in our communities and our workers in places like Warren, that’s what this is about," Biden said to a small audience of union officials and politicians.

Biden repeatedly spoke against Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. He highlighted some promises that he believes Trump has broken -- including the closure of the General Motors transmission plant in Warren last year.

“One, Trump hasn’t stopped companies from closing plants and sending jobs overseas," Biden said. “Two, he’s rewarded companies that have cut jobs and failed to invest here at home with billions of dollars in tax breaks. And, three, he’s awarding more and more federal contracts to foreign companies.”

Biden touted his time helping Detroit and the auto industry recover when he served as vice president under former President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. One of the union members speaking before the democratic presidential candidate praised his work bringing 1,000 General Motors jobs back to Flint from Mexico years ago.

Biden shared his Build Back Better plan, which includes higher taxes on companies that move work off U.S. soil. He’ll reward companies that bring jobs back to America.

Biden also announced that he would convert every federal government vehicle to electric if he is elected.

“Made in America. Sourced right here in the United States of America with the government providing demand and the support to retool factories that are struggling to compete," he said. "The United States automobile industry will set up expanding the capacity in the United States -- not China -- to lead the world in clean energy vehicles.”

Biden also touched on concerns raised Wednesday in a book by journalist Bob Woodward that Trump knew more than he let on about the impending coronavirus pandemic in March before it really hit.

“He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat posed to the country for months,” Biden said.

The White House says the president has never lied to the American public and he just wanted to convey calm when he publicly downplayed coronavirus while privately acknowledging its severity.

Biden accused Trump of “failing to do his job on purpose,” resulting in the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.

“It was the life-and-death betrayal of the American people,” Biden said. “Experts say that if he had acted just, just one week sooner, 36,000 people would have been saved. If he acted two weeks sooner back in March, 54,000 lives would have been spared in March and April alone.”

Trump is scheduled to stop at the AvFlight Saginaw terminal at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County on Thursday. Doors open at 4 p.m. and his remarks are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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