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VP Joe Biden: America "will lead the world in the 21st century in manufacturing"

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Vice President Joe Biden greets workers at American Seating Company in Grand Rapids after his 40 minute long speech Wednesday.

Vice President Joe Biden says good paying manufacturing jobs are vital to the U.S. economy and the American Dream of home ownership and upward mobility.

Biden made his comments following a tour of American Seating Company in Grand Rapids. The company has been making seats for busses, trains and stadiums in West Michigan for more than a century.

“It’s not the only source of good paying jobs but I see no way in which we can meet that American commitment to that dream unless we once again reestablish ourselves as the manufacturing hub of the world with high end products,” Biden said.Biden says the federal government needs to change the tax code to support manufacturers in the United States.

Companies that move manufacturing operations overseas can write the expenses off on their federal taxes. Biden says that’s not fair to companies like American Seating that have kept their manufacturing operations in the U.S.

“It’s not predatory. It’s not preference. It’s just simple; give people a moving expense to come home, and don’t give them a moving expense to go abroad,” Biden said. “It’s no more cost to the taxpayer.”

Biden says it’s a myth that China will soon surpass the U.S. in the amount of goods it manufactures. He said that China does 19-percent of global manufacturing. “The U.S. has 19.4-percent,” Biden said. He admits he’s more optimistic than when he was first elected at age 29.

He spoke enthusiastically to workers at the unionized company for around a half hour. “Because of you workers on the floor,” Biden said, “America is coming back and will lead the world in the 21st century in manufacturing.”

Changing Gears Reporter Niala Boodhoo reports "One out of every four jobs lost during the recession was in manufacturing – that’s 2.3 million jobs. As of last November, we’ve added back just 308,000 of those jobs."

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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