Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of business leaders on Tuesday that American companies don’t need to rebuild U.S. infrastructure. The White House should be doing it, he said.
Biden said Americans are beginning to get the better of China when it comes to investing in infrastructure.
“You don’t build the roads and bridges, the trains and the airports, the infrastructure of our modern economy if you want to have a competitive economy,” Biden said at the trade conference in Nashville. “You got to borrow the money. If you want to compete against Asia, and you want to be a credible economic power, you have to develop the infrastructure that’s going to allow you to compete with Asia.”
“And so no, we’re not creating this infrastructure, the services, in China. This is going to be a challenge to us,” he said.
Biden was speaking about a subject that’s become increasingly important in terms of trade and national security.
But Biden also talked about what he called the “Medicare for all” concept in which all citizens have health care, regardless of their income or employment status. He said the idea would be a way to counter China’s effect on American industry.
“You cannot look at a China that’s engaged in ripping you off, that are stealing your technology, stealing your blueprints, and then come here and compete against you by saying, ‘Well, I have some wonderful ideas for infrastructure, I want you to do that,’” Biden said. “No, no, no, no. We cannot compete with that type of unfair advantage. We have to become a net exporter, and only then will you be able to compete.”
Biden made similar remarks about China at a similar conference in Seattle on Saturday. He’s been a vocal advocate for the idea of nationalizing key parts of the nation’s infrastructure. Many critics say that infrastructure investment can’t be a truly national purpose.
Biden has said he hopes to run for president again in 2020. But a popular former president, not to mention the most popular vice president in history, might still have a shot at it.
What do you think? Is Biden right about China’s influence on American trade? Is his idea for a “Medicare for all” system a good one? Why or why not?