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Transcript: Secretary Buttigieg Remarks at the Detroit Auto Show

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Good afternoon, Detroit! What a joy to be at the in-person Detroit Auto Show. And what an honor to do it alongside the President of the United States and my great friend and colleague EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

This is an administration that believes in this country and believes in this country's auto industry -- powered by all of you.

I'm a Michigander by adoption, I married into it. But I am a Hoosier by birth, the son of an auto town. And I saw, growing up in South Bend, the hometown of Studebaker, that when we build cars it's not only building vehicles... it's building livelihoods, building neighborhoods, it's building futures.

I also saw what happened -- even though it was before I was born -- our city's life dominated by the loss of that company, because it was unable to innovate and keep with the times and survive the 1960s.

That's why I'm so proud to see what you're doing right now. Because America is not losing a step under this Administration's leadership, and with your hard work, America is ready to lead the way into the rest of the 21st century with the kind of automotive technology that will save people money, create great jobs, and lead to a climate that our children are going to thrive in. And you have a lot to be proud of for being at the heart of that. 

You're going to be leading the way, but we are standing with you in this Administration, especially as the automotive industry goes electric -- something that is going to happen - but three things are not guaranteed: Will it happen quickly enough to help us beat climate change? Will it be affordable enough that every American can benefit in an equitable way? And is it going to be a "Made in America" EV revolution?

We are partnering with you to make sure the answer to each one of those three questions is a resounding "hell yes." 

And we're backing that up under the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Package with a historic investment in the roads and highways and bridges, as well as the transit, the rail -- every part of the infrastructure of this country, including that grid that's going to power the electric vehicles of the future -- and we'll be talking more about that tomorrow.

I'm so proud to be part of such a transformative Administration. From the infrastructure law to the CHIPS Act that's going to help you get those cars off the line and into customers' hands, to the Inflation Reduction Act that's going to help more Americans afford to participate in this extraordinary EV revolution, powered by the workers and the companies that are showing off their phenomenal work here.

I'm so proud to be part of this moment -- this transformative moment in American transportation. And you all are at the absolute heart of it. 

And with that, I have the great honor of turning it over to a great friend of the President, of the Administration, and a great friend of the American automotive industry, the incomparable Representative Debbie Dingell.