Biden Fails to Mention China-Friendly EV Mandates in Visit with Auto Workers
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On Tuesday, President Joe Biden visited members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) who are striking against General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis. The president, though, failed to make mention his Electric Vehicle (EV) mandates which are partly responsible for the strike.

Tens of thousands of auto workers are striking against the Big Three across the United States, looking to secure a new labor contract that includes wage increases to keep up with Biden’s record inflation and commitments that their jobs will not be eliminated by Biden’s green energy agenda which includes EV mandates.

During his 12-minute visit with UAW members in Wayne County, Michigan, Biden spoke for only 87 seconds and did not mention his EV agenda or even attempt to sell it as a bonus for auto workers. Biden left the strike to jet off to California for a blitz of fundraisers with wealthy donors, some with connections to Hollywood.

As – News Economics Editor John Carney has detailed, Biden’s EV mandates are partly responsible for the auto industry strike, as well as inflation:

No wonder one of the top demands of the UAW is the return of cost-of-living adjustments. The companies have offered to pay inflation bonuses to help repair the damage inflation has done to the earning power of workers. To accept that, however, unions would have to once against trust that inflation will be contained. Given the betrayal of the last promise is still a fresh wound, that is a very big ask. [Emphasis added]

The betrayal of the autoworkers by the Biden administration goes beyond inflation, 0f course. The Biden administration has been pushing policies to electrify most new vehicles within a decade or so. That rush toward electric vehicles will mean a rapid decline in payrolls for autoworkers—even as the automakers enjoy Inflation Reduction Act subsidies. Although the Biden administration claims there will be many new “clean and green” jobs, no plausible estimates see a net increase in employment for autoworkers from the transition. You don’t need as many people on the electric vehicle assembly line as you do to build a gas-fueled car. It also has not gone without notice by the unions that many of the proposed new green manufacturing plants are in anti-union, right-to-work states. [Emphasis added]

Even if you are a big believer in the notion that climate change is an existential threat that requires transformation and sacrifice, how can requiring an outsized sacrifice by autoworkers be justified? If we are all to benefit from rushing the process to electric vehicles, why are autoworkers left paying the price? [Emphasis added]

Last week, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) blasted Biden for his EV mandates, warning that such a rapid transition to green energy will ultimately offshore the U.S. auto industry to China.

“The more the Big Three’s business model relies on global supply chains and non-union labor, the less the UAW can effectively push for higher wages,” Vance wrote in an op-ed. “Their leverage decreases every time a consumer buys a car made without an Ohio worker, and yet the policies of the Biden administration are explicitly designed to shift the auto industry offshore.”

Former President Trump has similarly called out Biden and is planning his visit with UAW members for tomorrow in Michigan.

“The auto workers will not have any jobs … because all of these cars are going to be made in China. The electric cars, automatically, are going to be made in China,” Trump said this month.

Indeed, China dominates the EV supply chain — a fact that will almost certainly ensure that EVs sold in the U.S. market will be, in one way or another, produced or sourced in China.

Currently, China controls critical components needed for EV batteries, including nearly 70 percent of the world’s lithium, 95 percent of manganese, 73 percent of cobalt, 70 percent of graphite, and 63 percent of nickel.

China also controls the parts needed to go into an EV battery.

About 77 percent of cathodes are made in China, along with 74 percent of separators, 82 percent of electrolytes, 92 percent of anodes, 73 percent of NMC cathodes, and 99 percent of LFP cathodes.

“Those jobs are all going to be gone, because all of those electric cars are going to be made in China,” Trump has said of Biden’s EV mandates. “That’s what’s happening.”

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