During President Biden’s State of the Union address, the president talked about his plan to help the nation’s economy. One subject he briefly touched on was the problems with the supply chain.
“Look, our economy roared back faster than almost anyone predicted, but the pandemic meant that businesses had a hard time hiring enough workers to keep up production in their factories. So, you didn’t have people making those beams that went into buildings because they were out, the factory was closed,” President Biden said. “The panic also disrupted the global supply chain. Factories close. When that happens, it takes longer to make goods and get them to the warehouses, to the stores, and prices go up.”
To get more on the president’s plan, AgNet Media National Correspondent Sabrina Halvorson spoke with Sameera Fazili, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. The National Economic Council provides guidance to the President on national and global economic matters. Halvorson asked about supply chain issues as they relate to the agriculture industry.
Halvorson: One thing that’s important to our listeners specifically is the supply chain, and that has caused so many problems around the nation and especially in the agriculture industry, not just getting items in, but getting items out. Are there any comments you can make on the supply chain?
Fazili: Definitely. When it comes to the supply chain, the President knows that this has been a year of really unprecedented challenges and unexpected challenges due to an economic recovery that was taking place in the midst of a global pandemic. He’s focused on one of the ways that we lower costs in our economy over the long run is to, what he calls increase the productive capacity of our economy. Make sure we’re making more things in America.
Listen to the full question and answer here.
Made in the U.S.A.
In his address, President Biden talked about increasing American manufacturing.
“We will buy American to make sure everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails is made in America from beginning to end. All of it. All of it,” he said. “But folks, to compete for the jobs of the future, we also need to level the playing field with China and other competitors.”
Halvorson asked Fazili about the plan to make more products in the US.
Halvorson: If we can talk on that point a little bit more and how it’s expected that will help not just farmers but the nation in general and American families when it comes to the costs of things.
Fazili: What we’ve seen since the President came into office is he sent a lot of clear market signals about the direction the country needed to go. He said we needed to make more in America. We need to really shore up critical supply chains. There are some goods where we are so vulnerable that are really important to our national security, to our economic security. Think about pharmaceuticals or electric vehicles as a great example.
Listen to the full question and answer here.
Border Security and Immigration
Toward the end of the address, President Biden spoke on border security and immigration. He said to advance liberty and justice, the nation needs to secure the border and fix the immigration system.
“We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers,” President Biden said. “We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significantly larger numbers so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don’t legitimately here can be sent back. We’re screening, we’re securing commitments and supporting partners in South and Central America to host more refugees and secure their own borders. We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that has led the generation of immigrants to this land — my forebears and many of yours. Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farmworkers, essential workers.”
In the official GOP rebuttal to the president’s address, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds gave a list of criticisms and said the president has held the country back. In specific response to his comments on the border, she said he’s left the country in danger.
“The Biden administration has refused to secure our border, to stop human trafficking, to stop the staggering influx of deadly drugs coming into our neighborhoods. They’ve refused to protect you,” Reynolds said. “With Texas and Arizona leading the way I, along with Republican governors from several states, have sent resources to the border. And we’ve actually gone to the border, something that our President and Vice President have yet to do since taking office.”
Reynolds also commented on the current economy.
“On the economy, while Democrats in D.C. are spending trillions, sending inflation soaring, Republican leaders around the country are balancing budgets and cutting taxes,” she said. “Because we know that money spent on Main Street is better than money spent on bureaucracy.”
Listen to Reynolds’ comments on border security and the economy.
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.