The South: America's New Industrial Powerhouse
The South is transforming into the US's new industrial heartland, with investments pouring into sectors such as EV battery production.
The South, ranging from Texas to Virginia, is quickly transforming into the new industrial heartland of the US, a shift propelled by President Joe Biden's manufacturing policies. Initially, foreign car manufacturers like Nissan, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz established their factories in the South during the 80s and 90s, attracted by the lack of unions and substantial subsidies. The region's availability of large land plots, cheap power, diverse industries, and significant labor pool has drawn in more recent investments. Furthermore, Biden's initiatives to promote semiconductors, renewable energy, and electric vehicles have led to a considerable surge in investment in the South, especially in sectors such as EV battery production.
This growth is exemplified by the 1,500-acre supersite in south Hardin County, Kentucky, being developed by Ford and SK for an EV battery venture. Such investments are changing the region's landscape and economic structure, although the continued reliance on coal for power production remains a concern. The influx of manufacturing jobs could also have political implications, potentially shifting the traditionally Republican-controlled districts' politics. However, the high demand for workers could necessitate changes in state and local policies, including more support for child care.
Source: The Economist