WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday will visit the battleground state of Ohio to announce commitments by major firms to source more parts from U.S. companies that use 3D-printing and related technologies and press Congress to pass legislation to strengthen American manufacturing and supply chains.
The companies, including GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Honeywell and Siemens Energy, have made the voluntary commitments to help their smaller U.S.-based suppliers use and adopt the high-tech manufacturing processes as part of a program called Additive Manufacturing Forward, or AM Forward, the White House said.
The trip comes as polls show increasing pessimism over the state of the U.S. economy, with voters giving Biden low marks for his economic leadership and Republicans attacking Democrats on inflation as the midterm elections approach. A jobs report released Friday showed that while the U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April — slightly above predictions — wage increases continue to lag behind inflation.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, allows manufacturers to create objects by sending computer data to industrial printers that make components by layering on material.
"In turn, these machines build parts on-demand, directly in suppliers’ own shops," the White House said. "Firms use this capability to reduce the number of parts required for an application, to make spare parts one at a time as needed, and design high-performing components in various industries ranging from aviation to medical devices."
The Biden administration has arranged for manufacturers to access financing through federal programs as well as technical assistance from the government. The departments of Labor, Commerce, Energy and Defense will also be involved in helping to facilitate the high-tech manufacturing.
Biden will deliver remarks at United Performance Metals in Hamilton, Ohio, where he will tour facilities that use 3D printing technologies, the White House said.
Biden is also expected to repeat his calls for Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, legislation that would provide billions of dollars in funding to boost the semiconductor industry and other cutting-edge manufacturing technology.
The visit follows trips Biden has made to other parts of the country to issue similar pleas to lawmakers or highlight projects that are benefiting from laws such as the one he signed last year to rebuild the nation's infrastructure.