Biden to plug manufacturing initiative into Ohio metallurgical company

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to announce Friday that five major U.S. manufacturers have pledged to increase their reliance on U.S. small and medium-sized businesses for 3D printing.

The White House said GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Siemens Energy have agreed to participate in the program, which Biden will highlight during a visit to United Performance Metals in Hamilton, Ohio.

The program is unveiled by the White House as Biden heads to the industrial Midwest to lobby Congress to approve a stalled competition and innovation bill that the Democratic president says is essential for bolstering domestic manufacturing and helping solve a semiconductor shortage that has delayed the production of life-saving medical devices, smartphones, video game consoles, laptops and other modern conveniences.

“I am determined to ensure that the United States holds the technological high ground in competition with other countries, especially China, as we move forward,” Biden said this week. His comments on the Bipartisan Innovation Act came during a Tuesday visit to an Alabama Lockheed Martin factory building Javelin anti-tank weapons systems.

GE Aviation and Raytheon have set a goal of turning to small and medium-sized businesses for 50% of their requests for quotations for products requiring 3D printing or related technologies.

Siemens Energy has committed to target 20-40% 3D printing parts sourced externally and will work with 10-20 small and medium enterprises to help them improve their capabilities. Lockheed Martin has agreed to work with smaller suppliers on research to improve the use of 3D printing as an alternative to castings and forgings. Honeywell offers technical support including part design, data generation, machine operation and post-processing to the small and medium suppliers it works with.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the trickle-down economy “has failed.” (Source: CNN/Pool)

The semiconductor chip problem has grown since lockdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic shuttered major Asian chip factories more than two years ago. Now it could stretch beyond this year, despite the semiconductor industry’s efforts to catch up with demand.

There is bipartisan support for boosting domestic chip production, but Senate and House lawmakers have yet to negotiate the differences.

The House passed a version of the legislation in February that could pump $52 billion in grants and subsidies to the semiconductor industry to help boost U.S. production. The bill must now be reconciled with a Senate version passed eight months ago.

House Democrats have also incorporated other priorities that have raised concerns among Republicans about the cost and scope of the bill.

The bill includes $8 billion for a fund that helps developing countries adapt to climate change; $3 billion for facilities to make the United States less dependent on Chinese solar components; $4 billion to help communities with unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average; and $10.5 billion for states to stockpile drugs and medical equipment.

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Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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