Steve Bannon, architect of the 2016 Trump campaign, warned that former vice president Joe Biden’s new economic plan, which proposes a massive cash injection to “buy American,” is “very smart” and shows that President Trump’s reelection effort has been “caught flat-footed.”
“They are essentially trying to steal the Trump program of 2016 and steal that playbook. For some reason, the White House and the campaign have been caught flat-footed,” Bannon said on his radio show Thursday. “Biden has very smart people around him, particularly on the economic side.”
Speaking to The American Conservative’s Curt Mills, Bannon added that the proposal makes a serious play for 2016 Trump voters that initially supported Bernie Sanders. “We can’t win without Bernie supporters . . . I tip my hat to them,” he said.
Led by Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, the White House drafted an executive order several months ago that required federal agencies to buy medical supplies and pharmaceuticals produced in America, but it was never signed by the president.
Biden unveiled his plan in a Thursday speech in Dunmore, Pa. It calls for a $700 billion investment in domestic production, with $400 billion over four years to incentivize the purchasing of American products and services, as well as a $300 billion investment in U.S. research and development for new technologies. It also proposes tightening current “Buy American” laws and an existing deal with the World Trade Organization to close loopholes.
“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Biden said while speaking at a metalworks factory. “When the federal government spends taxpayers’ money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs.”
Biden senior adviser Jake Sullivan told The Associated Press that the plan is “the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and (research and development) since World War II.” According to the Washington Post, the Biden campaign worked closely with Senator Elizabeth Warren — who proposed her own plan for “economic patriotism” in the primary — to come up with the platform.
Economist Stephen Moore, a member of Trump’s task force to reopen the economy, slammed the new Biden plan, saying in a statement that “all of the economic gains from the Trump era would be erased and we would be thrust into a second great depression that would hurt the poor and minorities most” if the plan is implemented.