Melissa Nann Burke
Washington — The White House said President Joe Biden will tour the Detroit Auto Show next week — his first return to the show since 2017.
Biden’s visit on Sept. 14 is to highlight the electric vehicle manufacturing “boom” in the U.S. as a result of his economic plan, the White House said Tuesday.
Biden said at the White House on Friday that he planned to attend the show, noting he’s a “car guy.” Biden was speaking at an event about $1 billion worth of federal grants awarded to regional partnerships, including $52 million for mobility innovation in the Detroit area.
The $52 million in funding will be administered by the Detroit Regional Partnership, whose CEO, Maureen Donohue Krauss, invited Biden on Friday to auto show, “where we can show you in person how we are leading the way.”
“I’ll be there,” Biden said.
“Awesome,” Krauss replied.
“I’m a car guy, as you kinda noticed,” Biden added.
Krauss also invited Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who also spoke at Friday’s virtual event at the White House.
It won’t be Biden’s first Detroit Auto Show. He toured the show previously, including in 2014 in a show of support for the city during its bankruptcy restructuring while serving as vice president, and again in 2017. President Barack Obama toured the show in 2016.
The Biden administration has sought to accelerate the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles.
The bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year included $5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers on major highways.
And Raimondo led a push to get Congress to pass $52 billion for domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing, crucial EV components. The recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act included billions for car companies to build new plants and revamp old ones to build EVs and their components. It also included expanded tax credits that will make EVs cheaper for low- and middle-income buyers.
As president, this would be Biden’s sixth trip to Michigan. He visited Michigan five times last year and had planned to be in the Saginaw area Aug. 2 but canceled after he experienced a reinfection with COVID-19.