Donald Trump won the White House after promising to bring back jobs to the United States and revive American manufacturing. But the president's budget blueprint, released on Thursday, calls for federal funding cuts that could set back scientific and technological breakthroughs that spur innovation and create jobs as well as jeopardize, or even eliminate entirely, government programs designed to support American manufacturing.
The Department of Energy is one of the agencies that would be impacted by cuts. It would sustain an overall budget cut of roughly $1.7 billion, and its Office of Science would lose roughly $900 million in funding, according to the White House blueprint. “To sustain advanced manufacturing, countries need to invest in a balanced research and development portfolio,” David Hart, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said in an e-mail. “DOE is a major funder of physical sciences and engineering research and development, so the cuts will hurt in that regard.”
Additionally, Trump’s budget proposes ending or discontinuing federal funding for several programs that either promote innovation or are intended to benefit manufacturing. At the Department of Energy, the blueprint eliminates Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which is set up to act as a government funder of breakthrough energy projects that can help commercialize technology that might one day support the creation of private sector jobs. It also scraps the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which runs a loan program intended to help support United States manufacturing facilities.