President Joe Biden has signed an executive order while visiting Maine on Friday to encourage companies to manufacture new inventions in the United States.
Biden landed in Maine for the first time since taking office, packaging his signing of the executive order with a speech at a textile factory in Auburn and a fundraiser in Freeport.
The executive order “Invent it here, make it here” is meant to benefit American workers, communities and global supply chain resilience, according to the White House.
Biden last visited the state in 2018 on a book tour for his memoir about his late son, Beau, who died of cancer in 2015.
Biden did not campaign in Maine before its March 2020 Democratic presidential primary, which he won, or ahead of the November general election, when he also carried the state, though his wife, Jill, appeared in Maine for him and has also returned as First Lady.
The Democrat won three out of the state’s four electoral votes in 2020 and is seeking to shore up his support in the state. Maine allocates its electoral votes by congressional district, and he lost the vote in the state’s second district, which provided the only electoral vote in New England for then-President Donald Trump, a Republican. By going to that district on Friday, Biden is seeking to show its blue-collar voters that he’s committed to them as a single electoral vote could be critical in a narrow 2024 presidential election.
“We’re talking about bringing manufacturing back to the country and creating jobs — good-paying jobs,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday as she previewed the trip.
The White House outlined the executive order being signed by Biden, which would improve the transparency of federal research and development programs to meet the administration’s goals for domestic manufacturing. The order asks agencies to weigh U.S. national security and economic interests when determining if domestic manufacturing requirements should be broadened.
The order also encourages federal agencies to consider domestic production when investing in research and development and to use their own legal authorities to encourage new technologies to be made in the U.S. But when goods cannot be made in the U.S., the order instructs the Commerce Department to create a clearer and timelier process for receiving a waiver.
Biden will be going to Auburn Manufacturing Inc., a maker of heat- and fire-resistant fabrics for industries that include shipbuilding, oil refining and electricity generation. The company challenged China for its unfair trade practices regarding amorphous silica fabric, or ASF, which is a heat-resistant material.