President Joe Biden has said his USD 2 trillion investment proposal, touted as a "once-in-a-generation" plan, would boost the US' global competitive edge, modernise aging infrastructure and address the challenge posed by climate change.
"The rest of the world is closing in and closing in fast. We can't allow this to continue. American Jobs Plan is the biggest increase in our federal non-defense research and development spending on record," Biden said in his address to the nation from Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
"It's gonna boost America's innovative edge in markets where global leadership is up for grabs. Markets like battery technology, biotechnology, computer chips, clean energy, the competition with China in particular," he said.
Biden said together along with the American Rescue Plan, the proposal put forward by him would create millions of jobs, estimated by some Wall Street outfits over 18 million good-paying jobs over four years.
"It also works to level the playing field, empower workers and ensure that the new jobs are good jobs, that you can raise a family on. And ensure free and fair choice to organise and bargain collectively.
"That's why my plan asks Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, the PRO Act, and send it to my desk," he said.
Biden also announced raising taxes on those earning more than USD 400,000 per annum.
"It's time to build our economy from the bottom up and from the middle out, not the top down. That hasn't worked very well," Biden said.
"For the economy overall, it hasn't worked because Wall Street didn't build this country. You, the great middle class, built this country. And unions built the middle class. And it's time," he said.
The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good jobs, rebuild the country's infrastructure and position the US to out-compete China, the White House said.
Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 per cent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way not done since "we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race", it said.
The plan invests USD 620 billion in transportation infrastructure, which will modernise 20,000 miles of highways, roads and main streets. Among others, it will spark the electric vehicle revolution, building a network of 500,000 Electric Vehicles chargers, replacing 50,000 diesel transit vehicles, electrifying at least 20 per cent of the yellow bus fleet, and helping consumers purchase the vehicles of tomorrow, according to the White House.
Former president Donald Trump slammed Biden, saying the "radical plan" to implement the largest tax hike in American history was a "massive giveaway" to China and many other countries that will send thousands of factories, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to these competitive nations.
"The Biden plan will crush American workers and decimate US manufacturing, while giving special tax privileges to outsourcers, foreign and giant multinational corporations," Trump said. "Biden promised to 'build back better', but the country he is building up, in particular, is China and other large segments of the world."
Trump said the US was "once again" losing the economic war with China and Biden's "ludicrous" multi-trillion dollar tax hike is a strategy for "total economic surrender".
Sacrificing good paying American jobs is the last thing the citizens need as the US recovers from the effects of the pandemic, Trump added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden's American Jobs Plan was a "visionary, once-in-a-century investment" in the American people and future.
National Association of Manufacturers president Jay Timmons said Biden's clear focus on strengthening manufacturing and the workforce of the future shows that he was truly committed to building the next post-pandemic world that is stronger and more resilient.
"When manufacturing is strong, America is strong," he added.