WASHINGTON—American-made vehicles and automotive parts have taken precedent with President Biden, signified by the Jan. 25 signing of an executive order that prioritized governmental purchases of made-in-America cars with U.S.-made componentry.
Prior to signing the Made in America executive order, Biden pledged to prioritize the purchase of American-made goods and expand U.S. contracts to include more small- and minority-owned businesses, while also focusing on U.S-made electric vehicles.
"The federal government," Biden said, "also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America by American workers, creating millions of jobs—a million auto worker jobs in clean energy—and vehicles that are net-zero emissions."
The move was applauded by the United Auto Workers union, which endorsed Biden during the presidential campaign.
"With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden today sent a strong message to American workers that our government will do all it can to support buying American products, made here by American workers, recommitting to the men and women of working America," UAW President Rory Gamble said in a statement.
Biden's move to transition the U.S. fleet to EVs also fits with an agenda that heavily emphasizes climate policy, a initiative underscored by the signing of an executive order on Jan. 20 to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Biden also has brought former Secretary of State John Kerry into a newly created Cabinet-level position of special presidential envoy for climate.
Kerry initially signed the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the U.S. in 2015 as secretary of state under President Obama.
Biden also signaled with the Jan. 25 executive order that infrastructure remains a significant focus for his administration and that the purchase of American-made products bolsters that effort.
"That means millions of good-paying jobs, using American-made steel and technology, to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our ports, and to make them more climate resilient, as well as making them able to move faster and cheaper and cleaner to transport American-made goods across the country and around the world, making us more competitive," Biden said.
The Build Back Better plan set forth by the administration ahead of the inauguration includes the aim of installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations nationwide.
The Made in America executive order also serves as a driver for several other priorities set forth by the Biden administration, including its efforts to combat COVID-19.
"As this pandemic has made clear, we can never again be in a position where we have to rely on a foreign country that doesn't share our interest in order to protect our people during a national emergency," Biden said. "We need to make our own protective equipment, essential products and supplies."