Joe Biden

Remarks on Hyundai Motor Group's Decision To Open an Electric Vehicle and Battery Manufacturing Facility in Georgia and an Exchange With Reporters in Seoul, South Korea

May 22, 2022

The President. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung. Thank you.

The President. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's—I think the last time we were together, we were at university. Was it two thousand and——

Mr. Chung. Yes, Yonsei University, 2013.

The President. Two-thousand-and-thirteen. He showed me a picture. I didn't have a lot more hair then either. [Laughter]

It's great to be here to announce the more than $10 billion in new investment in American manufacturing. This new commitment of $5 billion for advanced automotive technology and $5.5 billion investment to open a new factory near Savannah, Georgia, is going to create more than 8,000 new American jobs.

The plan is to break ground as soon as January of 2023. And the new facility should be rolling out the latest electric vehicles and batteries to power them by 2025. And the workers in Georgia who will build these plants and manufacture this new electric battery technology, it means economic opportunity for an awful lot of Americans.

And I want to commend my friends and the two Senators in Georgia, Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, for how they've been fighting for Georgia to be the magnet—[laughter]—for this clean energy investment.

And these investments are part of a trend my administration—in my administration. Manufacturing jobs are coming back to America. Even before these new investments, my administration, since coming to office, created 545,000 new manufacturing jobs since we took office.

And thanks to Hyundai, we are being part of this transformative automobile sector and accelerating us on the road where we're going to be handling [heading]* to—the United States—an all-electric future. And that's what we're shooting for.

Our administration is setting ambitious standards to cut pollution in cars and trucks and boost—boost—fuel-economy standards for those continuing to operate on gasoline. And last year, standing together with the CEOs of major American manufacturers, along with the CEO and the head of the United Auto Workers, I signed an Executive order setting a goal of having 50 percent of all new vehicles sold by the year 2030 be electric. And it's an ambitious target, I know, but I believe we can meet it.

But we're all committed to making it happen—auto companies, American UAW, the Federal Government as well—because all understand the same basic thing: Electric vehicles are good for our climate goals, but they're also good for jobs, and they're good for business.

Hyundai and any company investing in the United States would benefit greatly from entering into partnerships with some of the most highly skilled, dedicated, and engaged workers in the world, anywhere you can find. And that is American union members. And again, every venture to manufacture electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries would be made stronger by a collective bargaining relationship with our unions.

Investing aggressively in electric vehicles and battery production now—now, not tomorrow—now—is also important for strengthening our long-term economic security and accelerating progress toward a clean-energy future.

You know, because of Putin's war, we've been sort of knocked off slightly, a little bit, because of the impact of the—impact of Russian oil on Europe.

But batteries—batteries—that will be made at this new facility in Georgia are going to power cars without one drop of gasoline and increase security of our battery supply chains as well.

That's going to serve—save families money at the pump because they can skip the pump altogether. And instead, families will be able to stop at one of 500,000 new electric vehicle stations, part of the network we're going to be building across America with the $7.5 billion in funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law. And the chairman told me walking out here that they're also going to be investing in battery technology—in charging stations as well.

My administration—and by the way, when you invest in a charging station along a highway, it's a little bit like years and years ago, when we were starting to build automobiles in America and you're investing in a gas station. Other things pop up around it. It has an effect of generating economic growth just by putting in the station. And I think you're going to see that as well in the United States.

My administration is supercharging efforts to lead the electric future. We're also making historic investments in battery manufacturing, clean transit, and light rail. For example, we're going to be investing $5 billion to transform our fleet of nearly 500,000 polluting, diesel schoolbuses into clean, all-electric vehicles. And my climate and jobs agenda is making the United States a premier destination for savvy private firms looking to invest in the electric vehicle future.

In fact, today's welcome announcement by Hyundai comes on top of an additional $100 billion in investments in the last year from companies in America—in American manufacturing to build electric vehicles and electric batteries.

And so, folks, the administration is going to stay laser focused on innovation and batteries and EVs, building out our infrastructure and increasing the market demand.

So, Chairman Chung, thank you again for choosing the United States. We will not let you down. And, over these last 2 days, I've been focusing all my—all the ways in which the Republic of Korea and the United States can work closely together to shape the direction of our world for the better.

This deal is another prime example of how that partnership—and innovation, expertise, and values that drive both the Korean and American people—are delivering for the world.

So I thank you all for being part of this very integral clean, electric vehicle future, not only here, but in my country, and for deepening the ties between our two great democracies.

Thank you all so very much. Thank you.

North Korea

Q. President Biden, are you concerned about a North Korean missile test while you're here in Asia?

The President. We are prepared for anything North Korea does. We've had—we've thought through how we would respond to whatever they do. And so I am not concerned, if that's what you're suggesting.

Q. Do you have a message for Kim Jong Un while you're here?

The President. "Hello." Period.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:22 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Ray Curry, president, United Auto Workers (UAW); and President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia. A reporter referred to Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

* White House correction.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks on Hyundai Motor Group's Decision To Open an Electric Vehicle and Battery Manufacturing Facility in Georgia and an Exchange With Reporters in Seoul, South Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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