Biden is promoting manufacturing and union jobs in the Ohio battlefield

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HAMILTON, Ohio, May 6 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Friday boasted a surge in U.S. manufacturing and launched a new small business program in key Ohio state during his sixth visit as president

Earlier in the day, Biden was buoyed by strong numbers showing the US added 428k jobs in April, more than expected and the 12th straight month of job growth of over 400k. Manufacturing has seen the largest 15-month job gain in 15 years, he noted.

“These manufacturing jobs are important because they fuel our economic growth. They boost exports. And as we’ve seen, they can drive innovation,” said Biden, a Democrat, after touring United Performance Metals, a metals manufacturer near Cincinnati.

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The President announced an initiative to encourage large companies to adopt an emerging technology known as additive manufacturing.

Powered by 3D printing, the technology enables complex shapes to be built up layer-by-layer from plastic or metal particles. It is viewed by the government as a type of innovation that will allow US manufacturers to thrive and create jobs.

The initiative, called AM Forward, is a voluntary program. Companies are publicly committing to increasing the use of the technology and are also looking to small and medium-sized US suppliers.

GE Aviation (GE.N), Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE), Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) are the first participants, the official said.

Biden used the visit to urge Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which aims to boost manufacturing in the United States, particularly semiconductor chip production.

American manufacturing areas are no longer “rust belts,” but are home to smaller companies that build chips and other critical components that can help keep prices down, Biden said, which could boost the US’s competitiveness against China.

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on economic growth, employment and deficit reduction in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 4, 2022 in Washington, United States. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

While Americans are concerned about rising prices, more manufacturing facilities in the United States would help, Biden said.

“It’s very important because the pandemic and the economic crisis we inherited and Putin’s war in Ukraine have all shown the vulnerability when we rely too much on things made abroad,” he said.

Biden hailed the unions that organize workers at many of the companies involved in the new initiative, calling them “the best lone workers in the world.”

Biden faces headwinds as he tries to help his Democrats fend off a Republican takeover of Congress in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

Inflation is at a 40-year high and gas prices are rising, weighing on Biden’s job-approval ratings, and Republicans frequently attack Biden’s handling of the economy.

Former President Donald Trump took Ohio in 2016 and 2020 in part for his appeal to Rust Belt voters who were tired of seeing jobs disappear.

The trip was Biden’s sixth to Ohio since taking office in January 2021.

In recent days he has been making more outspoken political remarks as he prepares for five months of political campaigning. On Wednesday, he harshly criticized Trump’s loyal supporters, referring to them by the acronym MAGA for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Continue reading

In this week’s primary, Trump-backed Republican JD Vance won the nomination for a US Senate seat, while incumbent Democratic Rep. Shontel Brown easily defeated progressive candidate Nina Turner in the US congressional district, which includes Cleveland . Continue reading

(This story corrects paragraph 7 to add Raytheon.)

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Reporting by Jeff Mason Steve Holland, Susan Heavey and Jarrett Renshaw; Edited by Howard Goller and Alistair Bell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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