Roosevelt Room

1:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, the reason I’m here today is — all of these technology manufacturing leaders around the country and all over the world on the screens — is to talk about how we strengthen our domestic semiconductor industry and secure America’s supply chain. 

This is an issue that has broad support in United States Congress.  We’ve talked about whether or not we’re doing anything in terms of bipartisanly.  Well, we are.  Both sides of the aisle are strongly supportive of what we’re proposing, and I — and where I think we can really get things done for the American people.

In fact, today, I received a letter from 23 senators — bipartisanly — and 42 House members — Republican and Democrats — supporting the CHIPS for America program. 

Now, let me quote from the letter.  It says, the Chinese Communist Party is — “aggressively plans to reorient and dominate the semiconductor supply chain…”  And it goes into how much money they’re pouring in to being able to be able to do that.  But I’ve just — I’ve been saying for some time now: China and the rest of the world is not waiting, and there’s no reason why Americans should wait. 

We’re investing aggressively in areas like semiconductors and batteries.  That’s what they’re doing and others; so must we.  We are seeking a significant investment in the — in this piece of legislation.  And it’s important, but we know it’s not sufficient. 

The American Jobs Plan that I’ve put forward is part of — about revitalizing American manufacturing and securing our supply chains, investing in research and development, as we used to, in a very healthy manner. 

But it’s also about much more than that.  It’s about investing in infrastructure — and infrastructure not for the 20th century, but the 21st century.  It’s not just roads and bridges; we’re investing in water systems so Americans can have clean water infrastructure.  We’re investing in high-speed rail infrastructure.  We’re building charging stations to support America’s electric future — electric vehicle future and investing in that infrastructure; and building out America’s supply chain so we never again are at the mercy of another country or any other nation for the critical needs.  That’s what we’d mean by investing in infrastructure.

And we’re investing in a more resilient grid, investing — I understand you discussed that a little bit earlier today.  Investing as well in asbestos-free schools for our kids — that’s investing in infrastructure.  Building a support system to take care of our elderly parents and our kids with disabilities at home so that people can go to work — that’s investing in infrastructure. 

Chips, like the one I have here — these chips, these wafers, are batteries, broadband; it’s all infrastructure.  This is infrastructure. 

So, look, we need to build the infrastructure of today, not repair the one of yesterday.  And the plan I propose is going to create millions of jobs, rebuild America, protect our supply chains, and revitalize American manufacturing.  And it’s going to make America research and development a great engine again.

We led the world in the middle of the 20th century.  We led the world toward the end of the century.  We’re going to lead the world again.  We’re going to lead it again in the 21st century.

We’re — we have the best minds in the country; many of them are on the screen right now.  And they know better than anyone that our competitiveness depends on where you invest and how you invest. 

For too long as a nation, we haven’t been making the big, bold investments we need to outpace our global competitors.  We’ve been falling behind on research and development and manufacturing.  And put it bluntly, we have to step up our game. 

And I’m not ready to give up.  I’m ready to work with all of you, with the Congress — both parties — to pass the American Jobs Plan and to make a once-in-a-generation investment in America’s future. 

Again, we’ll provide the innovation and spur breakthroughs.  And we need — we need the support — all your support — on the screen and others, in order to get this work done.  And we need you, in turn, to support the American workers and American communities in every part of the country. 

This is a moment for American strength and American unity; for government, industries, communities to work together to make sure that we’re ready to meet the global competition that lies ahead, not continuing to slide in terms of our investment.  We’re ranked, like, number 25th in the world now.  That’s not American. 

So I want to thank you all very much.  And I appreciate all the time you’ve given us.

Q    Mr. President, could you speak to the issue in Minnesota, please, sir?

AIDE:  Thank you, guys.  Let’s go.

Q    Wait.  The President is going to speak.

THE PRESIDENT:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  Hang on, just a second.

Q    Mr. President, would you like to —

THE PRESIDENT:  Wait, wait.  Wait a —

Q    — speak to the issue in Minnesota?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, wait a second.  What I’m going to do — I’m going to see you all again in a few minutes.  I just took — taken the time, even though I was a few minutes late, to listen to the press conference.  I’m preparing a statement, and I’ll be happy to talk with you at the next meeting. 

Okay?  Thank you so much. 

1:39 P.M. EDT

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