President Donald Trump accused Joe Biden, his presumptive general election rival, on Friday of having plagiarized portions of his administration’s economic agenda.
Trump, who won the presidency in part on his promise to rebuild American manufacturing, claimed Biden’s new “Buy American” plan was heavily cribbed from efforts already underway.
“He plagiarized from me, but he can never pull it off,” the president told reporters on the White House lawn as he prepared to depart for a tour of Florida. “He likes plagiarizing. It’s a plan that is very radical left, but he says the right things because he’s copying what I’ve done.”
“But the difference is he can’t do it and he knows he’s not doing that,” Trump added, without going into detail as to what had been plagiarized.
The remarks came one day after the presumptive Democrat nominee unveiled his agenda for rebuilding the United States economy in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. Biden, who has a history of plagiarism dating back to his first presidential run in 1988, touts the proposal as a means to ensure “the future is made in all of America.” It’s anchored around a $400 billion “Buy American” federal procurement program, on top of a new $300 billion investment in U.S.-based research and development programs.
Portions of the plan also call for implementing a “pro-American worker” tax and trade strategy and an emphasis on rebuilding the nation’s domestic supply chain infrastructure. The former vice president’s campaign asserts it will create “at least five million new jobs in manufacturing and innovation.”
Biden’s plan, which was publicized on Thursday as a populist alternative to Trump’s economic policies, struck many inside the current administration as eerily similar to initiatives already undertaken.
“When I looked at Joe Biden’s plan, all he was doing was copying all the things that we have been doing as an administration with respect to buy American, onshoring jobs, increasing manufacturing,” Peter Navarro, the director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, told PBS NewsHour on Thursday.
Navarro, in particular, cited the five different executive orders Trump has issued since taking office to boost the production and sale of American-made goods. The trade advisor also signaled that a new executive order was being debated to bring the production of “medical supplies and equipment … home” to prevent future shortages.