In his first visit to Maine as president, Joe Biden is slated to visit the state Friday as part of a tour discussing his economic policies, which he has dubbed “Bidenomics.”
“The President will discuss how Bidenomics is driving a manufacturing boom and helping workers and innovators invent and make more in American,” the White House said in a statement Sunday.
CBS13 learned Tuesday that President Biden will be visiting Auburn Friday from Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque.
Levesque told CBS13 that the White House reached out to him on Monday to inform him of the president’s upcoming visit.
The mayor said that he believes Biden chose to deliver his remarks in Auburn because of the city’s rapid economic growth.
President Biden also plans to stop at Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), a Maine-based manufacturer of heat resistant fabrics that recently won a major victory in a trade dispute with Chinese competitors.
The visit comes as Biden finds himself engulfed in scandals emanating from Republican investigations into his his son’s business dealings with foreign entities, including at least one Chinese business connected to the Chinese Communist Party.
AMI, a family business started in 1979, noticed a decline in domestic orders around six years ago, and soon after learned that Chinese products were being sold by U.S.-based distributors and undercutting their business.
Federal investigators found that the Chinese government was subsidizing the manufacturers of the products competing with AMI, and were also having the products made in state-owned facilities — allowing these state-backed companies to drive down prices as much as 30 percent below those of AMI.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce sided with AMI, ruling that China was engaging in unfair trade practices — and in February of this year, the Commerce Department reported that the Chinese businesses were circumventing anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders.
“It’s one more victory, but whether it takes you to the finish line or not is another question,” said Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of AMI, in February.
“We’re not winning the war here. It’s a battle,” she said.
AMI’s victory meant that certain Chinese-imported fabrics would face a 200 to 300 percent duty upon importation to the U.S., which Leonard hoped would level the playing field.
However, new findings suggest some Chinese manufacturers have circumvented the tariff by importing the fabrics into the U.S. under false labels.
Leonard attributed a significant shift in how Americans view trade policy with foreign nations, especially China, to former President Donald Trump.
“We are always encouraged to see progress from a public policy perspective, but our fight goes on,” she said. “Manufacturers like AMI cannot rest on their laurels as China continues to engage in unfair and illegal trade practices, putting American companies out of business.”
Gov. Janet Mills confirmed Monday that she will be meeting with the president during his visit when speaking with News Center Maine reporter Jack Molmud.
“Look, I want to thank him — 272 million dollars for broadband, and our bipartisan infrastructure law,” Mills told Molmud. “Thanks to the great support and advocacy of Senator King and Senator Collins Maine is going to be fully connected by the end of next year.”
“I want to thank him for the American Rescue Plan funds, which we put to use in every community across the State of Maine. I want to thank him for the CHIPS funding,” Mills said.
“I want to thank him for revitalizing our economy — Maine and the nation are seeing an increase in the GDP, statewide and nationally,” she said.
Mills also seems to have gotten the Biden Administration talking points about manufacturing and Bidenomics.
“800,000 more manufacturing jobs under his administration. I think that’s big news, and I’m happy to share it with him and thank him for everything he’s done for Maine,” she added.
The president last visited Maine in 2018, when he spoke at Merrill Auditorium in Portland as part of a tour promoting his memoir about the death of his son, Beau Biden.