CEO Column

Jennifer Safavian | Looking Back on President Biden’s First 100 Days

Jennifer Safavian
May 26, 2021

The U.S. automotive industry continues to face its fair share of challenges, including continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, a semiconductor chip shortage, and an increasingly complex trade landscape. It has not been an easy road but we are making progress on a number of fronts.

President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office were equally challenging as he aimed to steer America’s recovery from the pandemic. With so much going on in Washington, D.C., Autos Drive America is pleased that the Biden administration has prioritized several critical issues impacting the U.S. automotive industry. Many policy details still need to be ironed out, but the early indications are promising. A few of the key issues President Biden has already addressed include:

Supply Chain Review: We commend President Biden for issuing his Executive Order to review U.S. supply chains, as strong supply chains are a key component of our ability to remain globally competitive. We are hopeful this action will lead to policies that ultimately strengthen and diversify the supply chains that Autos Drive America’s members rely upon to meet consumer demand and drive economic growth in the United States.

Trade Policy: The Biden administration’s multilateral approach to trade policy signifies the early movement in the right direction. Repairing partnerships and alliances with our trading partners, reengaging with international organizations such as the WTO, and closely examining existing trade policies – including a review of tariffs – all represent important first steps.

Workforce Development: President Biden has called on Congress to invest $100 billion in workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups to help guide students on meaningful career paths before they graduate from high school. We are currently operating in a technology-driven economy, and we must ensure that we are training today’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Our members have long been committed to investing in America’s workforce, so we appreciate the administration’s focus on offering additional funding towards job training and educational programs to create a talent pipeline for our industry and those that support it.

Infrastructure: Investment in the future of our nation’s infrastructure is critical. Autos Drive America’s members are rapidly advancing technologies that include automated, connected, and electric vehicles. The United States needs a modernized approach to infrastructure to support these emerging technologies.  We appreciate the Biden administration’s bold approach to infrastructure investment that aims to propel our industry into a new era.

President Biden and members of his administration should build on this early progress by focusing on policies that allow international automakers to continue their positive impact on American workers, our economy, and local communities across the country. I look forward to working with Autos Drive America’s members and the administration to advance policies that strengthen the U.S. automotive industry over the long term.