PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — Vice President Kamala Harris returned to the Badger State on Thursday to tout the Biden administration’s investments in high-speed internet, domestic manufacturing and job creation.
The visit came as Nokia announced Thursday morning that it plans to partner with Sanmina to create up to 200 jobs at its plant in Pleasant Prairie to manufacture broadband network electronics.
Vice President Harris addressed a crowd of invited guests from the Sanmina factory floor as she highlighted the Buy America provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The remarks come as the Biden-Harris administration prepares to launch the nearly $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
“We believed it was time to fix this and to bring manufacturing jobs back to places like Kenosha," Vice President Harris said. “When we made this investment, we knew that there would then be an increased demand for fiber optic cable and for other products that connect people to the internet."
According to the White House, Nokia will be the first telecom company to start making broadband electronics products in the United States in 2024.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who introduced the bipartisan Made in America Act, applauded the Buy America provisions that aim to help support local manufacturers and workers.
“This has always been just so simple," Sen. Baldwin told the crowd. "When we are investing American taxpayer dollars, we should be supporting American workers, American businesses and the American economy."
However, Republicans were not so optimistic and accused Democrats of trying to play catch up in a state they said their party is committed to.
“It’s one thing to announce something, its another thing to deliver,” Tommy Pigott, Director of Strategic Communications at the Republican National Committee, said. “One thing that we know about the Biden administration is that they overpromise and underdeliver. And then the second part of that is we do know what their policies have already delivered for Wisconsin and its failure. We see prices rising [and] interest rates at a 22-year high. We see, really, an unsustainable economy for millions of American families. That’s what 'Bidenomics' has delivered. That’s what families are living through.”
Vice President Harris last visited Wisconsin in September 2023 before the November midterm elections. Thursday’s visit was Harris’ fourth trip to the Badger State since taking office and her first of this election cycle, which also included stops in Milwaukee for fundraising events.