3:11 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Folks — Mark, thank you very much for the introduction.
Look, a little over a year ago, I signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. That act did two things. Excuse me, I have a little bit of a cold. First, it’s a historic investment in bringing the semiconductor industry back to America. We invented the semiconductors — those little computer chips that are about the size of the tip of your little finger. They affect nearly everything in our lives from cellphones, to automobiles, to refrigerators, to the most sophisticated weapons systems we have.
America invented these chips. But over time, we went from producing nearly 40 percent of the world’s chips down to producing just over 10 percent.
And as a result of the CHIPS and Science Act, the semiconductor companies all over the world are investing over a hundred billion dollars to bring chip production back to the United States. I’ve visited almost every major center, starting from South Korea on, and they want to be here, building the chips here in America.
Second, the bill created what we call “tech hubs” as part of the bill. A tech hub is going — we’re going to invest in critical technologies, like biotechnology, critical
materials [minerals], quantum computing, and advanced manufacturing so the U.S. will lead the world again in innovation across the board.
These hubs all around the country will bring together private industry, higher education, state and local governments, Tribes, and organized labor.
Today, we’re announcing that 31 tech hubs spread across the entire
company [country] will be able to compete for up to $75 million each to accelerate and scale up their work. And I want to thank Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Todd Young and Representative Joe — excuse me — Representatives Joe Morelle and Susan Ward — excuse me — Susan Wild for their work to make this happen.
Representatives from many of these hubs are in the — on the — on the screen behind me. And in front of me there is — I was — that’s why I was turning to look, to see whether — if they were still there.
The work they’re doing is transformational. For example, a tech hub in Wisconsin is going to bring together research labs, medical device manufacturers, and engineers. They’re going to build technology that supports personalized medicine, like tests, treatments, and therapies specifically tailored to a patient’s genetic code and medical records. And I’m — I believe it’s going to save a lot of lives in the long run.
Ohio — the largest concentration of rubber and plastics manufacturing in North America. In the Ohio hub, businesses and universities are going to come together to develop sustainable plastic and rubber technology that can be produced with fewer emissions and is able to be recycled and biodegradable — is biodegradable and is non-toxic, which is going to significantly impact on the environment.
These hubs are also making sure workers get the skills they need to do these jobs. For example, with the leadership of Majority Leader Schumer, a hub in Upstate New York is going to support a workforce training program for New York’s semiconductor industry, which, by the way, has seen tens of billions of dollars — billions of dollars — in new investment because of the CHIPS and Science Act.
This hub will have a particular focus on training people from communities historically left behind — like women, people of color — to work in the semiconductor industry.
The list goes on. We’re doing this from coast to coast and in the heartland; in red states and blue states; small towns, cities of all sizes.
All this is part of my strategy to invest in America and invest in Americans.
It’s working. We’re creating good jobs in communities all across the country, including places where, for decades, factories have been shut down, hollowed out when jobs moved overseas to find cheaper employment.
Over the past few decades, these communities lost more than jobs. They lost a sense of — their sense of dignity, of opportunity, a sense of pride. We’re going to change all that.
Tech hubs are going to bring this work to where people live in communities all across America.
The press has started to call my plan “Bidenomics.” Well, under Bidenomics, you don’t have to leave home or your family to get a good job.
For too long, science and innovation, and economic opportunities that came with it, were concentrated on the coasts.
As a country, we used to invest 2 percent of our gross domestic product in research and development. Now it’s 0.7 percent. How can you lead the world when you no longer lead in research and development?
My plan is changing that. Under Bidenomics, we’re going to make sure America’s future is made in America. You know, it’s leading to a manufacturing boom attracting over $600 billion so far in private investment in American manufacturing and our clean energy future.
For too long, we looked around the world to find — corporations looked around the world to find the cheapest employment and then imported the product they made — the foreign product.
Now, we’re creating American jobs and exporting American products. That’s good for everybody. These tech hubs will be transformational. And they’re part of a long line of transformational investments we’ve made since I took office.
And as a result, I truly believe this country is about to take off, because, for the first time in a long time, we’re investing in America and we’re investing in American people. We’re investing in our future. And I can honestly say I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future.
I want to thank you. And I’m going to leave you now with Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has been the engine behind this effort. She’s going to lead the discussion with representatives from these tech hubs on the screen behind me for all of you to see.
I apologize. I have to go to the Situation Room. We have another issue that I have to deal with.
But thank you, thank you, thank you.
Q Sir, Pope Francis spoke with you yes- — you spoke to Pope Francis by phone yesterday?
THE PRESIDENT: I did.
Q How did — how did that conversation impact you? What did you take away from it — that conversation with Pope Francis?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll answer this one question. It — the Pope and I are on the same page. He — he was very, very interested in what we were doing to deal with some of the crises that we’re facing, particularly in Israel this time around.
And I laid out to him what the gameplan was, how we thought we should be providing the kind of assistance to Israel that it needed. And the Pope was, across the board, supportive of what we’re doing.
(Cross-talk by reporters.)
Q Is the U.S. supporting the hostages-for-a-ceasefire deal?
THE PRESIDENT: We should get the — we should have a ceasefire — not a ceasefire, we should have those hostages released, and then we can talk.
Q Any comment on the new hostages that were just released?
Q Has there been any progress on that front, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible.)
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