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Amid the Biden administration's push for green energy jobs in America, General Motors announced plans on Thursday to invest more than $1 billion toward the production of electric vehicles in Mexico.
What are the details?
In a statement in Spanish posted on GM's Mexico site, the company said the investment will fund a new painting plant at its Ramos Arizpe complex in Coahuila, with an anticipated launch date of June 2021.
The facility will reportedly begin producing at least one GM-brand electric vehicle by 2023, the company said, adding that the facility will also produce batteries and electrical components used to power the vehicles by the fall of this year.
Construction is reportedly already under way at the plant, where the company currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer in addition to engines and transmissions.
"We are very proud to contribute to the realization of GM's Vision of Zero Collisions, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion, contributing to the manufacture of electric vehicles," Francisco Garza, president and CEO of GM Mexico, said in the statement.
The announcement ironically came just one day after President Joe Biden cast the climate change policies of his administration as a driving force for the U.S. economy.
"If we act to save the planet, we can create millions of jobs and economic growth and opportunity," the president said in his first joint address to Congress Thursday evening.
"For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs," he added. "There's no reason the blades for wind turbines can't be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason why American workers can't lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries."
During the speech, the president touted his administration's proposed infrastructure spending bill, called the "American Jobs Plan," saying its environmental initiatives will result in "millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth" in America.
"These are good-paying jobs that can't be outsourced," he explained.
The behemoth spending package is slated to cost more than $2 trillion and will require the largest tax hike in three decades to pay for it.
In response to GM's announcement, Terry Dittles, vice president of the United Auto Workers association, called the move a "slap in the face" to union members and American taxpayers.
"At a time when General Motors is asking for a significant investment by the U.S. government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families but also for U.S. taxpayers and the American workforce," he said in a statement.
"General Motors automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the United States and should be made right here, employing American workers," he continued. "That is why our nation is investing in these companies. Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies."
"This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly," he added.
According to Fox Business, GM responded to UAW's complaints by noting it has "recently announced nearly 9,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in new electric vehicle or battery cell manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee."
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