The $12,500 electric vehicle tax credit proposed in President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan is being labeled as “discriminatory” by Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier, who said the country is analyzing legal recourse and other actions, including potential tariffs against the United States.
Clouthier claims the EV tax credit is “totally contrary to free trade,” especially as the rebate includes additional funds for consumers if the vehicle is built in the United States and equips a U.S.-produced EV battery. The terms of the tax rebate, which favor U.S.-based manufacturing efforts, is detrimental to the country’s automotive exports, Clouthier argues. On Thursday, she said, “the effect on our auto exports would have a very large impact on this sector that creates a lot of jobs … and could even generate additional migratory pressures.”
The United States has used an EV rebate for years in the amount of $7,500. This credit applies to any electric vehicle that is manufactured by a company that has sold less than 200,000 units, meaning Tesla and GM vehicles do not qualify for the rebate. The primary differences between the old credit and the new one are the amount of the rebate, its potential to be “refundable,” and the positive effects it could have on American manufacturing.
It seems that Clouthier is not in favor of taking large-scale recourse on international trade, especially as global supply chain issues continue to plague the automotive industry. She stated that it was “not a desirable” course of action, but stated that Mexico will do anything in its power to support its automotive industry. Reuters says Mexico’s automotive sector employs around one million people.
It is not the first time entities have spoken up regarding their discontent with the new EV incentives. In October, the European Union, Germany, Canada, Japan, Mexico, France, South Korea, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Finland, Romania, and Greece argued to U.S. lawmakers that the tax credit violated federal trade rules by “limiting eligibility for the credit to vehicles based on their U.S. domestic assembly and local content.” The countries also stated the credit “is inconsistent with U.S. commitments made under WTO multilateral agreements.”
The Tax Credit was passed within the “Build Back Better” plan was passed by the House of Representatives in November. It moves to the Senate next.