Unfair? Toyota launches advertising campaign against tax credit for electric vehicles
While the Build Back Better Act looks at subsidized childcare, streamlining health care, and reorganizing some tax laws, its main goals revolve around allocating hundreds of billions to climate initiatives. The latter aspect was also the feature that changed the least as the bill was tailored in hopes of more support from Congress. The climate agenda is obviously important to the Biden administration, and the proposals, piggybacking on a former White House, promise to convert the entire federal fleet to electric vehicles – but that plan appears to be struggling to get off the ground right now.
Build Back Better legislation provides for an increase in consumer tax credits up to $ 12,500 for electric vehicles assembled in a unionized factory with US-made batteries. Everything else will fall below the maximum by at least a few grand.
Toyota has found this to be unfair and completely contrary to the United States government, which promotes a free market. In advertisements circulating through media such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the automaker urges Congress to “put politics aside” and ensure that electric vehicle tax credits are applied evenly.
“What does this say to the American auto worker who has chosen not to join a union? It says their work is worth $ 4,500 less because they made that choice, ”the ad reads. “What does that say to the American consumer? If they want to buy an electric vehicle that isn’t made by Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler, they’ll have to pay an additional $ 4,500 – that’s about $ 100 more per month over a four-year period. “
According to Automotive News, Toyota already sees a coalition of supporters. This includes the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), which represents over 9,000 international brand dealers in the USA. Last week they called the proposed EV framework “discriminatory”. She then released a formal letter calling on the White House and Congress to “stop selling cars, making politics and working for all Americans – not just those who union dues.”
“The inclusion of this $ 4,500 UAW tax credit is an insult to the 673,000 Americans who work in international nameplate factories and dealers,” said Cody Lusk, CEO of AIADA. “Unlike ‘Building Back Better’, this provision makes it harder for Americans to buy green vehicles because it can only be applied to a handful of the more than 60 electric vehicles on sale today.”
Toyota’s advertisement comes in opposition to the proposed EV tax credit, with other international automakers, Republican governors from auto states, Canada and Mexico criticizing the proposal.
A group of 25 ambassadors in Washington also questioned the proposal in a letter sent on Friday October 29 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarty, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was sent.
The ambassadors, who represent Germany, Japan, France, South Korea, Italy, the European Union and other countries, said the legislation would “if implemented, violate international trade rules, penalize hard-working Americans who are employed by these automakers, and the efforts of these automakers to expand the US consumer EV market to meet the government’s climate goals. “
Autos Drive America, a group representing the US operations of international automakers including Toyota, said the ambassador’s letter “should make it clear to the government and Congress that this is just bad policy.”
“It discriminates against American workers, undermines global climate change goals and threatens our relationships with our trading partners,” said Jennifer Safavian, CEO of Autos Drive America, in a statement. “Tax incentives should be fair and equal for all electric vehicles.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has supported the union-friendly aspects of the bill since its inception, saying it would promote the safety of high-paying jobs in Michigan. Given that the proliferation of electric vehicles will ultimately shrink the number of automotive manufacturing positions, their claims seem worthy of some criticism. However, the majority of unionized entities exist in the Midwest, so she is not entirely wrong in suggesting that this could help confine the industry to her state.
UAW President Ray Curry has similarly praised the Biden administration, stating that the proposed electric car tax credit would be “a win for auto-making workers.”
The matter is literally divided. Strong democrats and union groups continue to support the plan. Republicans and automakers who believe they will get less free money from the government are largely against it, citing the matter as unfair. Basically everyone wants the taxpayer’s money and will be pissed off if they have a smaller piece of the pie left.
Our opinion? Electric vehicle sales had been heavily promoted by the US government for over a decade before Build Back Better was launched. Meanwhile, internal combustion engine vehicles continue to be hampered by the development of regulatory penalties (from around the world) that supposedly benefit the environment. While some of these efforts are undoubtedly worthwhile, the results do not always lead to lower pollution without a robust and reliable national energy plan. China is now also responsible for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and is benefiting greatly from the increasing sales of battery-powered cars. Many of the proposals also seem to be more about helping selected industry players and political allies than cleaning up the atmosphere. All in all, one wonders about the true effectiveness of such proposals and why electric vehicles have not yet been able (or even asked to) to survive on their own.