Biden Shoots Down Bipartisan Effort to Protect US EV Industry From China

Biden Shoots Down Bipartisan Effort to Protect US EV Industry From China

President Biden has vetoed a bipartisan resolution aiming to reverse his administration’s decision to waive “Buy America” requirements for taxpayer-funded electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The resolution, authored by Sen. Marco Rubio and passed by the Senate in November, intended to overturn the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Waiver of Buy America Requirements for Electric Vehicle Chargers. Critics, including Rubio, argue that the waiver benefits Chinese manufacturers dominating the EV charger supply chain.

In response to the veto, Rubio and other Republican lawmakers accused the administration of supporting Chinese manufacturers over American businesses. President Biden defended his decision, stating that the resolution would undermine efforts to establish a domestic EV charger manufacturing industry and impede progress in creating the EV charging network.

The DOT’s waiver, unveiled in February 2023, relaxed manufacturing and assembly requirements for EV charging companies to qualify for federal subsidies. The final rule, a two-phase process, requires the final assembly of chargers to be in the U.S., with 55% of the total product costs represented by American-made components starting July 1, 2024. The initial proposal in August 2022 included a four-phase plan with more stringent requirements, which was subsequently revised.

President Biden’s broader goal is to achieve 50% electric car purchases by 2030. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed in 2021, allocates $7.5 billion for EV charging programs, while the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act expands tax credits for EVs and charger installations.

The vetoed resolution had bipartisan support, passing the Senate with a 50-48 vote and gaining approval in the House in a 209-198 vote. Critics argue that the waiver undermines the “Buy America” provision, intended to boost U.S. manufacturers and businesses.


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