An influential Democratic senator, who has paid dearly for his support for the US president's major climate plan, called on Thursday to “pause” the implementation of subsidies for electric vehicles, the Ministry of Finance n 'having not finalized the conditions for the award.
As provided for by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the official name of the climate plan, the subsidies to the The purchase of an electric vehicle must start on January 1 and amount to $7,500. But the US Department of Finance points out on its website that the final conditions will be specified next March.
For now, vehicles and their batteries simply have to be “assembled in North America” for companies to qualify for the subsidies, which therefore includes those made in Canada and Mexico. This is a long-standing request from countries neighboring the United States.
But it is not enough for Senator Joe Manchin, who is calling for a pause in the implementation place of these subsidies “the time to publish conditions that respect the objective of the IRA”.
“The announced rules respond to the will of companies and do not respect the objective of the law, estimated the Democratic senator in a press release, they only weaken our ability to become a more energy independent country”.
Joe Manchin notably hopes that the conditions of attribution do not come to reinforce the dependence of the United States “on China and Russia for the raw materials and the manufacturing necessary for the energy of our nation”, with both countries being among the leading ones.
Current rules can indeed benefit vehicles that do not meet their original intended purpose, until new conditions are released, he believes.
The original plan was that vehicles likely to be subsidized are “made in the USA” in order to favor the American auto industry.
But such a possibility has led to an outcry in both North America – Canada and Mexico considering that these rules contravened the free trade agreement between the three countries -, that in Europe, which fears a weakening of its industry at a time when it is already suffering from rising energy costs because of the war in Ukraine.
The subject was also raised during the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in early December. The French delegation was then optimistic about a possible extension of subsidies to vehicles manufactured in Europe.