Biden touts Georgia battery deal as ‘win’ for workers, auto industry

President Joe Biden waves as he departs after attending Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Joe Biden waves as he departs after attending Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Credit: Patrick Semansky

Credit: Patrick Semansky

President Joe Biden touted a $1.8 billion settlement between two South Korean rival industrial giants that clears the way for one of the largest economic development projects in Georgia history as a “win for American workers and the American auto industry.”

In a statement Sunday, Biden said the deal allowing a $2.6 billion SK Innovation factory near Commerce to make electric vehicle batteries was a key part of his infrastructure plan to build a new U.S. supply chain for cars and components.

“We need a strong, diversified and resilient U.S.-based electric vehicle battery supply chain, so we can supply the growing global demand for these vehicles and components — creating good-paying jobs here at home, and laying the groundwork for the jobs of tomorrow,” Biden said.

“Today’s settlement is a positive step in that direction, which will bring some welcome relief to workers in Georgia and new opportunity for workers across the country.

The plant’s future was in doubt after a federal trade dispute with LG Energy threatened to torpedo the project in Jackson County, which will ultimately provide 2,600 jobs. The two rivals said Sunday the deal would allow “healthy competition and friendly cooperation. "

“In particular, we will work together to strengthen the battery network and environmentally-friendly policy that the Biden administration is pursuing.”

ExploreHow bitter Korean rivals settled a rift that threatened Georgia battery plant

Here’s the full Biden statement:

This settlement agreement is a win for American workers and the American auto industry. A key part of my plan to Build Back Better is to have the electric vehicles and batteries of the future built here in America, all across America, by American workers. We need a strong, diversified and resilient U.S.-based electric vehicle battery supply chain, so we can supply the growing global demand for these vehicles and components - creating good-paying jobs here at home, and laying the groundwork for the jobs of tomorrow. Today's settlement is a positive step in that direction, which will bring some welcome relief to workers in Georgia and new opportunity for workers across the country. I want to thank Ambassador Katherine Tai for her tireless work to resolve this dispute and facilitate a settlement that is good for America's future in the electric vehicle industry, and good for job creation. My American Jobs Plan will help build on this momentum, creating millions of new jobs, supporting a stronger American auto industry and making sure that we win the electric vehicle markets of the future.

- Joe Biden

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