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Brian Deese. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

National Economic Council director Brian Deese will label the coronavirus pandemic a "wake-up call" to bring manufacturing jobs back to America in a speech Wednesday unveiling the Biden administration’s industrial policy, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden’s campaign was predicated on providing well-paying jobs for millions of Americans who've seen the country’s industrial heartland hollowed out by automation and competition for lower-cost labor from other countries.

  • "Our private sector and public policy approach to domestic production prioritized low, short-term costs over security, sustainability and resilience," Deese is expected to say in a speech to the Atlantic Council Wednesday morning.
  • "Markets — on their own — will not make investments in the technologies and infrastructure that would benefit an entire industry."
  • "These failures require a different role for government, one where public R&D lays a foundation for breakthrough technologies, and government pulls forward the deployment and dispersion of innovation."

The big picture: Early in the pandemic, the shortage of personal protective equipment for medical workers raised awareness that America didn’t produce many basic items to protect its citizens.

  • Deese will note that "nearly 90% of generic active pharmaceutical ingredient facilities are located overseas and have been moving offshore for the last 50 years."
  • The rest of his speech articulates Biden’s approach to reversing those trends and lays out the administration's long-term strategy for how America can compete with China and other global challengers.

Driving the news: Deese’s speech comes as he and other White House officials work with Congress to try to pass a bipartisan infrastructure deal, which includes roughly $580 billion in new spending.

  • But that effort is just a sliver of the more than $4 trillion in new spending the president has proposed as part of his “Build Back Better” agenda, another cornerstone of his campaign.
  • This month, the White House announced a new task force to focus on solving the supply chain disruptions created by the pandemic.
  • That dovetails with Deese's advocacy for the public spending on research and development, as well as a bigger role for the federal government in the procurement process.

By the numbers: Manufacturing jobs reached their peak in 1979, at 19.6 million.

  • Forty years later, the number declined to 12.8 million, down some 35% from the all-time high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Under President Trump, the economy added roughly 500,000 manufacturing jobs, before the pandemic wiped them all away.
  • Trump ended his term with a loss of some 240,00 manufacturing positions.

Between the lines: As the economy has shed manufacturing jobs, it's added positions in other sectors that typically don’t pay as well. The Midwest has been particularly hard-hit.

  • For example, between 2001 and 2019, Indiana lost over 72,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, while adding 228,000 in the hospitality, administrative services and health care sectors, according to a study from the left-of-center Brookings Institution.

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: U.S. Capitol Police officers at approximately 12:40 p.m. arrested a man with a knife for a weapons violation, the agency wrote in a tweet.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.