Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has unveiled his bailout plan for the coronavirus-crippled U.S. economy, while criticizing President Donald Trump as incompetent.
Biden said his $ 700 billion (£ 560 billion) plan would be the largest investment in the American economy since World War II.
The “Build Again Better” agenda, he said, would spur a boom in manufacturing and technology jobs.
The Trump campaign responded that the plan would inflict a “catastrophe.”
Biden is almost certain to face Trump in the November presidential election.
Speaking at a metalworking company near his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, Biden said the president’s failures “had a terrible human cost and a deep economic cost.”
“Time and time again, working families are paying the price for this administration’s incompetence,” Biden said.
The November elections are expected to be dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences, which have brought tens of millions of Americans to unemployment. More than 130,000 people have died from the virus.
Many voters are concerned about the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. Its divisive approach to the country’s recent wave of anti-racism protests has also come under sharp scrutiny.
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Opinion polls show that Biden has a nearly double-digit advantage over Trump.
Analysts have called for caution in over-interpreting the polls, but Biden’s leadership is far greater than that of 2016’s Trump opponent, Hillary Clinton, at the same point in the campaign.
What else did Mr Biden say in his speech?
The former vice president, who served under Barack Obama, gave an optimistic tone when presenting an economic program, which he said would create at least five million jobs in manufacturing and innovation.
A key theme of his plan, Biden said, was “buy American.” He proposed a $ 400 billion increase in government spending on products made in the United States, in addition to spending $ 300 billion on research and development of new technologies, including electric vehicles and 5G networks.
“When the federal government spends taxpayer money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs,” he said.
Pennsylvania is a battlefield state seen as critical to the outcome of the elections. Trump won it in 2016 by a narrow margin.
The slogan “Buy American” has made comparisons with President Trump’s “American First” agenda.
But Biden said Trump had failed to “regain jobs and manufacturing” and, during the pandemic, had protected wealthy “friends and friends” rather than working-class families.
“The truth is that during this crisis, Donald Trump has focused almost singularly on the stock market, the Dow and the NASDAQ. Not you. Not your families,” said Biden.
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The Trump campaign had a weak view of Biden’s economic proposals.
“Mr. Biden’s deliberate attack on our jobs, our families and the American way of life will reverse all the achievements we have accomplished together and plunge us into economic catastrophe,” said spokesman Hogan Gidley.
Where are we in the electoral race?
Biden, 77, officially obtained the Democratic presidential nomination in June. He had been the effective candidate since leftist Bernie Sanders retired from the race in April.
It is Biden’s third candidacy for the presidency, after the failed elections in 1988 and 2008.
Obama supported Biden in April and said in a video that his former vice president had “all the qualities we need in a president right now.”
Former US Senator from Delaware, Biden has yet to choose his running mate, the person who would become vice president if elected. Kamala Harris, a Democratic senator from California, is considered the favorite.
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The Democratic and Republican Party conventions are scheduled for August. At those events, delegates will formally elect each party’s nominees for president and vice president in the 2020 elections, which will take place on November 3.