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Biden to highlight legislation targeting competition, inflation in North Carolina trip

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will travel to Greensboro, N.C., Thursday where he will tout the benefits of legislation aimed at strengthening manufacturing in an attempt to improve U.S. competition in the global economy and lower inflation.

Biden is scheduled to visit a new engineering research and innovation complex at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the largest historically Black college or university in the country.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will meet with faculty and students who are studying cybersecurity and robotics and plans to discuss how the bill, previously known as the Bipartisan Innovation Act, can boost the economy. Psaki said he will highlight the administration’s manufacturing strategy and regional investments in clean technology and advanced manufacturing.

“That means stronger supply chains, more manufacturing jobs, and lower prices for consumers as we break up the bottlenecks, like semiconductor chips, that have driven inflation over the last year,” she said. “He wants to build on that success by passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act to create — to create more good-paying jobs and lower prices for working families.”

Congress has created a bicameral conference committee to try to form an agreement that incorporates elements of separate bills passed by the House and Senate.

The White House said the legislation would create a new directorate at the National Science Foundation that would focus on manufacturing, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. It said the measure would also create a new hub within the Department of Commerce that would offer five-year funding to support regional partnerships centered around technology.

The president’s visit comes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that U.S. inflation hit a 40-year high of 8.5 percent, mainly because of Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, rent hikes and gas prices.

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