At Ford plant, Janet Yellen says US economy is stronger

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated on Thursday that President Joe Biden’s agenda had made the economy stronger than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, but said more jobs were needed to protect gains, especially by tackling inflation.

Traveling to Detroit to tout the impact of recent legislative achievements ahead of congressional elections in November, including hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in semiconductors, research, healthcare, green energy and infrastructure, Yellen said fighting inflation remains a top government priority. economic priority.”

“Our plan worked,” Yellen said in a campaign speech marking job gains and increasing economic equality at Ford Motor Co.’s Rouge EV plant in Dearborn near Detroit. “By any traditional metric, we have experienced one of the fastest economic recoveries in modern history.”

But Yellen acknowledged that inflation, which has hit a 40-year high, is still a major concern. He said the Biden administration was working to reduce costs for Americans by easing supply chain bottlenecks, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and cutting healthcare premiums and drug costs through the recently enacted $430 billion “Inflation Reduction Act.”

“The most pressing challenge is to return to a stable price environment without compromising the economic gains of the past two years,” Yellen said, adding that the Federal Reserve has primary responsibility for taming inflation. “To ensure our long-term economic stability, we must keep our public finances on a sound footing.”

Yellen said the government would continue to push for additional tax increases beyond the new alternative 15 percent minimum tax for large corporations, as well as for implementation of the global tax reform deal left out of the latest law.

“This includes closing loopholes and returning tariffs for high-income people and corporations to historical norms,” ​​he said, pointing out that the administration still wanted to reverse the 2017 tax cuts imposed by former President Donald Trump and his Republican counterparts – an attempt thwarted by Democrat. narrow majority in Congress.

Biden’s party sought to retain control of Congress in November, and Yellen’s speech in Detroit, the birthplace of America’s auto industry, was part of a month-long speaking tour to praise the improving economy.

Meanwhile, the US is on track to achieve ambitious emission reduction goals following recent climate legislation that encourages investment in green technology, Yellen said.

The legislation, signed by President Joe Biden on August 16, “represents the largest investment in fighting climate change in our nation’s history,” Yellen’s preparatory speech said. “This will put us well on the path to a future where we depend on wind, solar and other clean energy sources,” he said. “We will break away from our current dependence on fossil fuels and the whims of autocrats like Putin,” he said, referring to the Russian president.

Yellen will visit the Rouge Ford Electric Vehicle Center, where the company makes the electric F-150 Lightning pickup, ahead of her speech

While in town, the Treasury Secretary also plans to visit small business owners in Detroit and meet with local officials.

Yellen said experts had been expecting the new law – called Inflation Reduction Act because it also aims to reduce the cost of prescription drugs — it would put the US on track to reduce emissions by about 40 percent within eight years, compared with 2005 levels. He did not cite any research to support that claim in the citation, and did not provide further steps. that the US wants to take to reach net zero.

On his first day in office in 2021, Biden signed an executive order tying the US back to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate, which pledged to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

— Reuters, Bloomberg, and Detroit Business Crain contributed to this report.

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