President Biden is Putting American Workers First


As the first in the nation’s Democratic primary fast approaches, President Biden reminds us that we are seeing results with “record economic growth and the lowest inflation rate of any major economy in the world.” Just four short years ago, we, the people, decided to choose unity over division, to love instead of hate, and to support the Biden-Harris Administration, which has created over 14 million new American jobs. During President Biden’s recent visit to the Palmetto State, he reminded us that more work is still to be done.

As one of the leaders in the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far. Founded in 1973 and becoming publicly recognized in 1975 when it increased from three to thirteen members, the creation of the Legislative Black Caucus marked a monumental turning point in South Carolina politics. Over these past 50 years, we have seen change across all 46 counties, from the election of the first black South Carolina congressman in 100 years and the removal of the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds to the historic election of Presidents Obama and Biden, and to our nation’s first African American Vice President Harris.

President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’s efforts to stand up for American workers have resulted in tens of thousands of new South Carolina manufacturing jobs. Here in South Carolina, we have the fastest-growing job market in the country at a rate of 142.35%. President Biden has enacted and maintained common sense tariffs that protect us from foreign countries that engage in unfair trade practices that hurt South Carolina families.

In South Carolina, the aluminum industry supports hundreds of good-paying jobs. In 2015, the domestic aluminum industry was on the brink of collapse due to China, India, the Middle East, and other foreign countries flooding the global marketplace with unfairly traded aluminum. With plants across America and in our state set to close, that would have been devastating for South Carolina families.

The U.S. government took decisive action by imposing the Section 232 aluminum tariffs, which imposed a 10% tariff on all foreign aluminum to save American jobs. Under President Biden’s leadership, the Section 232 aluminum tariffs were cemented into law and strengthened over time.

In fact, South Carolinians can see the benefits of the Section 232 program right here in our backyard. Century Aluminum Mt. Holly is home to America’s newest and most efficient aluminum smelter. What does that mean for our economy? $500 million of economic growth and a direct path for African American workers to reach the middle class; however, the benefits do not stop there. The aluminum produced at this plant is an essential input for electric vehicles, medical equipment, and military applications as the U.S. works to strengthen domestic supply chains and secure America’s green future.

Since the Section 232 program became law, America’s aluminum production has increased by 60%, and plants like Century Aluminum Mt. Holly are creating new jobs that strengthen South Carolina. In recent years, the Section 232 tariffs have enabled the Mt. Holly plant to increase production by 50%, bringing the facility to 75% of overall production capacity. With more than 450 workers now employed at this Lowcountry aluminum plant, unserved communities in Orangeburg, Berkeley, and Clarendon counties benefit directly.

In addition, President Biden and Vice President Harris have shown tremendous leadership in standing up to countries that seek to do America harm and hurt our domestic industries, including aluminum. State owned Russian aluminum producers provide military and financial backing to Russia’s brutal assault against the people of Ukraine. In 2023, President Biden imposed a 200% tariff on imports of aluminum from Russia. Unfortunately, Russian aluminum continues to flood the global commodity exchange distorting global pricing, America’s aluminum producers are still under pressure and one just recently announced closure. The Biden Administration must act to prevent Russia from benefiting from its invasion of Ukraine while injuring American producers and reimpose sanctions on Russia’s largest aluminum producer.

Here at home, President Biden’s accomplishments are positively impacting South Carolina families. While the Section 232 tariffs are helping to create new good-paying jobs for African American communities, the President has also eliminated “$137 billion in student loan debt and capped insulin for seniors at $35 a month.”

This Saturday, February 3rd, marks the country’s first 2024 Democratic Primary right here in South Carolina. Let’s set the precedent for the rest of the country and support the leaders who are helping not only the people of South Carolina but all Americans, whether white, black, old, or young. Now is the time to stand with President Biden. Let’s support the re-election of President Biden and Vice President Harris so they can finish the job.

Senator Darrell Jackson is a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing District 21.