U.S. Senate Democrat Manchin Opposes $ 4,500 Tax Credit for Unions
WASHINGTON, Nov.11 (Reuters) – Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Thursday said he opposed a $ 1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill from President Joe Biden that would give electric vehicles Americans made by unions a tax incentive of $ 4,500.
Manchin’s comments came during an event where Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said it would invest $ 240 million in its West Virginia engine and transmission plant to build hybrid transaxles. Manchin represents the state.
His opposition was first reported by Automotive News, which quoted him as saying the push for union-made vehicles was “bad” and “not American.” He told the publication: “We shouldn’t be using taxpayers’ money to pick winners and losers.”
Toyota has lobbied hard against the proposed $ 4,500 electric vehicle tax credit for vehicles made by unions.
The social spending and climate bill before Congress includes up to $ 12,500 in tax credits for electric vehicles made in the United States, including the union provision of $ 4,500. The bill is a key pillar of Biden’s national agenda.
The vehicles are expected to be manufactured in the United States from 2027 to be eligible for one of the $ 12,500 credits.
Electric vehicle tax credits are backed by Biden, many Congressional Democrats and the United Auto Workers union and would disproportionately benefit Detroit’s Big Three automakers – General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co ( FN) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV – who assemble their US-made vehicles at factories represented by unions.
Foreign automakers have severely criticized the move to give union-made vehicles a boost, while 25 ambassadors recently wrote to lawmakers to oppose it.
The Senate is also divided between Democrats and Republicans and Manchin is a key voice on a number of provisions of the spending law.
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and foreign automakers like Toyota do not have unions representing American factory workers, and many have fought UAW’s efforts to organize American factories.
Toyota said on Thursday that large parts of the world were not ready for zero-emission vehicles, which is why it did not sign this week’s pledge to phase out fossil-fueled cars by 2040.
Six major automakers, including GM, Ford, Volvo Cars of Sweden and Mercedes-Benz of Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), have signed the Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Cars and Vans, as have a number of countries including India.
Toyota and the world’s second-largest automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), as well as crucial auto markets the United States, China, and Germany failed to do.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Cooney
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