NEC Director Deese Statement on Panasonic Energy Announcement in Kansas
Today’s announcement that Panasonic Energy plans to invest $4 billion and create 4,000 jobs in a lithium-ion battery factory in De Soto, Kansas, is the latest example that the Biden-Harris economic strategy to bring manufacturing jobs back home is working. Over the last year, construction of new manufacturing facilities has increased by 116 percent. Industrial production is at a record high. And since President Biden took office, we’ve added 574,000 manufacturing jobs, including more manufacturing jobs created in 2021 than in any year in nearly 30 years. America is making things again.
The announcement is also another proof point of the success of the Administration’s efforts to create more resilient and secure supply chains and outcompete the rest of the world in the technologies of the future. Executive Order 14017,America’s Supply Chains, signed in February 2021, initiated a whole-of-government strategy to secure critical supply chains, including electric vehicle batteries and the critical minerals that go into them. This announcement by Panasonic builds on more than a year of progress building an end-to-end American supply chain for lithium-ion batteries, a market currently dominated by China. Just last month, Stellantis and Samsung announced a $2.5 billion joint venture to manufacture batteries in Kokomo, Indiana. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided nearly $7 billion to strengthen the battery supply chain, including $6 billion through the Department of Energy for battery material processing, battery manufacturing, and recycling. These funds will support good jobs in leading edge industries in communities across the country.
Earlier this year, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to authorize investment in the sustainable extraction, processing, and recycling of critical battery minerals—lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, and manganese. In April, the Department of Energy Loan Program Office issued its first conditional loan commitment through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program in more than a decade—$107 million to Syrah Technologies to produce graphite for electric vehicle batteries.
And as President Biden has said, any company investing in the United States would benefit greatly from entering into partnerships with some of the most highly skilled, dedicated, and engaged workers in the world—American union workers.
The future of transportation is electric. President Biden’s industrial strategy is ensuring that future is built here in America by all of America’s workers.