American Independence Day, celebrated each July 4th, reminds us of the heroic efforts of our forefathers, and every generation since, to free ourselves from the yoke of foreign power. This year, I welcome you to also celebrate with me our nation’s growing independence from foreign manufacturing. The Biden-Harris Administration is urging all to “Buy American/Build America” to draw attention to US-based manufacturers – big and small – who are returning the means of production, and the good-paying jobs that come with it, back to our shores.
From the outset, the Biden-Harris Administration has embraced an industrial strategy that is revitalizing our nation’s clean energy manufacturing base, strengthening critical supply chains, and positioning US workers and small businesses to compete and lead globally in the 21st century. A whole-of-government effort is leading to a historic recovery in domestic manufacturing, particularly in green technology. Since President Biden took office, the private sector has committed over $100 billion in new private capital to make electric vehicles and batteries in the US, and making historic investments in clean hydrogen, nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. The US is also now on track to triple domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2024, enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy each year.
This is good news for the thousands of small manufacturers in cities, towns, and rural communities across the Mid-Atlantic region. In early June, President Biden authorized use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technology, including solar panel parts. He also put the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing by directing the development of master supply agreements, including “super preference” status, and created a 24-month bridge as domestic manufacturing rapidly scales up to ensure the reliable supply of components that US solar deployers need to construct clean energy projects and an electric grid for the 21st century, while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes.
Together, these actions will spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs – all while cutting energy costs for families, strengthening our grid, and tackling climate change and environmental injustice. Buy American/Build America keeps our nation strong and independent.
John Fleming is the SBA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator.