Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, and the EU have all requested exemptions from the Biden Administration’s “location of assembly” requirement for electric vehicle subsidies.
Since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed, much like any government policy, it has had its detractors. However, the global backlash regarding EV tax incentives has been fierce. The act makes any EV that isn’t assembled in North America ineligible for tax incentives of up to $7,500. Hence, an EV produced by Hyundai in South Korea or BMW in Germany, for instance, would not be given an incentive. Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, and the EU have requested exemptions from this rule.
According to Reuters, Japan is the most recent country that plans to request an exemption from IRA stipulations. The Japanese government plans to work with South Korea and Europe as each major economy hopes to protect its significant automotive sector. South Korea was the first to voice concerns over the act earlier this year, and while the Biden Administration has promised a response, no changes have yet been made.
Joining the complaints of these nations are even some companies. Hyundai/Kia has requested a postponement to allow them to build their first U.S.-based EV manufacturing facility. And more recently, Reuters reports that Ford has also asked for the location of assembly requirement to be relaxed to give consumers more choices of electric vehicles in their price range.
Perhaps telling of the seriousness of the situation, President Macron of France and Chancellor Scholz of Germany were recently reported to be considering retaliatory measures if the U.S. is unwilling to negotiate on electric vehicle subsidies.
President Biden has not yet responded to these concerns, other than at a brief meeting with the South Korean President at the Queen of England’s funeral, in which he responded without substance. And while diplomats representing the U.S. have stated that the IRA would be reviewed, no changes have yet been made, nor has a substantive announcement addressed the issue.
It remains unclear what the response of the Biden Administration will be. On the one hand, extending any exemptions from the IRA would remove an incentive for manufacturers to come to the U.S. On the other, allies of the U.S. are growing ever more unhappy with the act and may soon retaliate.
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