U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai visited Atlanta Friday to participate in a roundtable on investing in the United States convened by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Democrat from Georgia’s 7th district.
Ambassador Tai was slated to “amplify President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, including historic legislation that brings manufacturing back to America,” according to a notice from her office.
That legislation — including the CHIPS Act outlaying $50 billion in support for the semiconductor supply chain, as well as the hundreds of billions in the Inflation Reduction Act for solar energy and electric vehicles and batteries — has come under fire as protectionist from some key U.S. trading partners and spurred talk of retaliation in Europe, Korea and beyond.
In Georgia, meanwhile, it has helped spur historic investments fueled by foreign companies, principally from Korea, that will create thousands of jobs.
The event was held at the Peachtree Corners offices of Siemens Electrical Products, the German-owned power generation and transmission giant with an innovation center and office employing about 500 in the Gwinnett city. Siemens also has had manufacturing in Alpharetta for many years.
Siemens last week announced that it would invest $30 million to train what it calls an “inclusive workforce” of electric-vehicle technicians to meet labor demand across the United States.
The day before she spoke in Atlanta, Ms. Tai hosted a virtual ministerial on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a new trade initiative the U.S. is leading in Asia. A U.S. delegation will travel to Malaysia for the next negotiating round later this month.
She spoke with the Georgia Asian Times on her impressions of Atlanta and plans to boost U.S. trade with Asia in an inclusive way, capitalizing on the connectivity of the Asian diasporas and the strengths of small and medium-sized companies. See the interview here
In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview, Ms. Tai outlined the Biden administration’s “worker-centered” approach to trade, noting a desire to steer away from ’90s-style free-trade agreements that chased efficiencies to cut prices and boost corporate profits but also had the effect of eroding American manufacturing capabilities.