Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Washington D.C. today with a warning about measures that Democratic MPs are likely to pass through Congress.
There is no obvious evidence that he has altered his mind. Politicians who support the proposal appear ready to push it forward, from the White House to the Senate.
The prime minister arrived for a two-day visit as American lawmakers work on a large budget measure that includes an electric car tax credit that is strongly opposed by the United States’ trade partners.
Trudeau voiced these concerns at a meeting on Capitol Hill today with the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and he will do so again on Thursday with President Donald Trump.
The prime minister said that the tax credit scheme contradicts decades of continental integration of the auto sector, dating back to the signing of the 1965 Auto Pact and continuing with the current North American trade agreement.
“We are worried about zero-emission car requirements or rebates”, Trudeau said at the event, which was chaired by former US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson.
Trudeau’s message to Americans is that the credit, as it is now drafted, would harm more than just nations who export automobiles to the United States; it would also harm continental supply networks and punish American employees whose goods are transferred for assembly.
Democrats are hoping to push a version of the plan through the House of Representatives as soon as possible. The bill will have a more difficult road in the Senate, where legislators expect to finish its passage this year.
The law contains a $12,500 credit for the purchase of electric automobiles. It is intended to direct electric car production to Michigan and its unionized factories.
More than a third of the refund is restricted to purchases of automobiles built in the United States by union members, and by 2027, the whole credit will be restricted to such vehicles.
Trudeau stated that this might harm American companies selling to non-US factories while eroding North America’s competitiveness as a whole.
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