Kamala Harris Pledges $100M To Boost Small Auto Manufacturers In Detroit

The White House announced on Monday that Vice President Kamala Harris along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, declared a substantial funding boost for small and medium-sized auto manufacturers and autoworkers in Detroit, Michigan.

What Happened: The funding is part of the Vice President’s Economic Opportunity Tour and is aimed at bolstering the American auto industry. The announcement comes as a response to the decades-long trend of manufacturers moving overseas, which has led to the loss of numerous manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

The Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda has already seen companies announce over $170 billion in investments in electric vehicle (EV) and battery supply chain manufacturing. This has positioned the US as a global leader in EV manufacturing investment and has resulted in the creation of over 250,000 jobs in the auto industry.

The Vice President’s announcement includes more than $100 million in funding for small and medium-sized auto parts manufacturers to expand or retool their manufacturing facilities. The Department of Energy will set aside $50 million of its Automotive Conversion Grants Program for partnerships with states to help these suppliers transition from manufacturing internal combustion engine parts to manufacturing parts for the EV supply chain.

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The Department of Energy is also allocating up to $50 million of its Industrial Assessments Center Implementation Grants Program to help auto suppliers initiate manufacturing diversification and conversion projects. The Small Business Administration will leverage its Small Business Investment Company program to catalyze private capital for the EV supply chain and help these manufacturers grow and diversify their businesses.

Why It Matters: This initiative comes at a time when Chinese EV makers are outpacing their Western counterparts in new car model releases, causing concern for U.S. automakers. In the fourth quarter of 2023, Chinese EV company BYD Company ADR surpassed Tesla as the largest seller of battery-only vehicles.

Furthermore, Chinese automakers have seen a 40% increase in overseas sales in the first quarter of 2024. This initiative also aligns with the United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain’s $40-million campaign to unionize autoworkers in at least 35 non-union U.S. plants.

Read Next: ‘US Is Currently Sc***ed:’ Ex-Cruise CEO Calls For Manufacturing Makeover To Win Over Chinese Auto Rivals

Image via Shutterstock

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Posted In: GovernmentNewsPoliticsGeneralAmerican automotive industryAutoworkersGretchen Whitmerjennifer granholmKamala HarrismobilityPooja RajkumariStories That Matter
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