South Asia and Beyond

Biden’s ‘Atmanirbhar’ Push

Call it President Biden’s version of Atmanirbhar USA. He plans to spend at least $4 trillion over 10 years on “Build Back Better”, a government-driven programme focusing on infrastructure and strategic industries such as semiconductors, renewable energy and electric vehicles. He says it will not only help the U.S. take on China but also generate millions of jobs, reduce inequalities and help battle climate change.

The money will cover $300 billion in federal investment in research programmes and $400 billion in procurement of U.S.-made goods. There will be tax incentives and credit facilities to spur manufacturers to invest in domestic plants and repatriate supply chains.

The timing of this programme could not have been better. The pandemic and competition from China has focused minds in Washington DC and helped facilitate a bipartisan consensus on the need to secure supply chains for a whole range of strategic goods.

In fact, Biden is seeking to reverse the slide in industrialisation evident since 1979.