Congressional approval this month of the bipartisan infrastructure bill formally known as the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act is a welcome $1.2 trillion shot in the arm for the roads and charging infrastructure that this industry desperately needs.
But a provision inserted in the Biden administration's accompanying budget reconciliation bill that is still before Congress — one that would grant customers who purchase a UAW-made electric vehicle $4,500 more in federal tax credits than for other EVs — is wrongheaded and should be removed.
The extra incentive, championed by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would place a federal thumb on the scales to benefit the legislators' home-state automakers as they compete for sales in the fast-growing EV market.
Provisions that favor U.S.-made vehicles will certainly face a legal challenge under the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, if not also through the World Trade Organization. Stipulating that the vehicle or battery also be assembled by union members is little more than provincial favoritism for the Detroit-based UAW and its automakers.