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President Biden visits Michigan chip plant amid push for domestic production

Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman details Biden's latest visit to a chip plant to promote U.S. chip manufacturing and the president's recent comments about averting a nationwide rail strike.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

JOE BIDEN: The reason I pushed for the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act was because I knew we could turn things around. I've never been more optimistic about America than I have been in the last several years. And I mean that sincerely. Not just here in Michigan, but all over the country. Semiconductor companies are investing literally several hundred billion dollars over the next 10 years. Several hundred billion dollars in a field of dreams right outside of Columbus, Ohio.

- That was President Joe Biden talking about expanding chip manufacturing in the US. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins us with more. Rick, we got a field of dreams. We've got hundreds of billions of dollars coming in a few years from now. This takes a long time to get all the fabrication and the plants up to speed. How realistic is it to shift all these supply lines and obtain some meaningful benefits from this over the next few years?

RICK NEWMAN: Well, you're right. But Joe Biden's not going to have a lot to do for the next couple of years legislatively, at least, so I think this is a preview of what we're going to see him do now that Republicans are going to control the House of Representatives. He's going to go out on the road and tout his accomplishments. And he's talking about the CHIPS Act, which Congress passed over the summer. That's a lot of money to incentivize companies to build semiconductor fabs here in the United States.

Biden talked in that speech in Michigan, some of these, or a lot of them, are going to be blue collar jobs. Of course, he's also got the green energy investments from the internet reduction-- Inflation Reduction Act, sorry. The internet reduction, I mean, it's as silly sounding is the Inflation Reduction Act. But he's going to be talking about that for a while.

And the fact is manufacturing job growth under Biden has actually been very strong. I mean, I track this for the Bidenomics Report Card I do, and there are more manufacturing jobs created during the Biden presidency than under any other President, going all the way back to Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. It has a lot to do with the snapback from-- there's the chart there. Biden's at the top. I think Biden actually is off the chart literally on that. But I think a lot of that is the snapback--

- COVID.

RICK NEWMAN: --from the COVID downturn. But, I mean, presidents get the blame when they don't deserve it, and sometimes they take credit when they don't deserve it. And I think that's what Biden's going to be doing for the next several months.

- And, arguably, the most important thing on his plate right now is the potential rail strike. Speaking of jobs, they say it could cost 760,000 jobs in the first two weeks. This puts him in a pickle. He wants to be the pro-union president that was a pro-union senator, but he needs a deal done, even if Congress has to force it.

RICK NEWMAN: Right. And what you've seen Biden do-- so there's a pre-midterm election Biden on this, and there's a post-midterm election Biden. And what Biden has done this week is he's punted this to Congress. He has said, Congress, you need to take care of this. And to some extent, he's right about that because it's Congress that actually has the authority.

And this is because railway workers, for decades, have been considered essential workers that, in some cases, need to work for national defense reasons and just to keep the economy going because we rely so heavily on rail, and we still do. So Congress can order-- they can do a lot of things if they just can vote as if passing a law. They can say, you got to accept the contract that you're both negotiating. They can refer it to an outside arbitrator. They can delay the deadline.

So the Congress has a lot of power to resolve this. And honestly, if it gets that far, I think Congress will resolve it very quickly if that strike actually happens.

- Could be a little tricky in the Senate, as always, given the math. A little easier in the House.

RICK NEWMAN: Because it requires 60 votes. So it would have to be bipartisan.

- Right.

RICK NEWMAN: But I don't think you're going to be seeing too many Republicans who say, I'm willing to be one of the few who holds up a resolution--

- The nation's economy.

RICK NEWMAN: --of this rail strike, and I'm willing to let the economy tank. So I don't--

- You don't want to die on that hill.

RICK NEWMAN: --see that happening. Nope.

- Senior columnist Rick Newman. Thank you, sir. Appreciate that.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.