Inicio EV Sherrod Brown asks President Biden to ban sales of Chinese electric vehicles

Sherrod Brown asks President Biden to ban sales of Chinese electric vehicles

WASHINGTON, D. C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to make sure that inexpensive Chinese electric vehicles whose manufacture is subsidized by the Chinese government don’t make into the United States to undercut domestic car makers.

The Cleveland Democrat on Thursday called Chinese-made electric vehicles “an existential threat to the American auto industry” and asked President Joe Biden to ban their U.S. sales.

A letter Brown sent Biden warned that the level of Chinese government subsidies to its car manufacturers makes it impossible for U.S. companies to compete on a level playing field. Allowing the sales would hurt the United Autoworkers union and its ability to boost wages and benefits for workers across the auto sector, his letter added. On top of that, he said the vehicles are a national security threat because the technology they employ would give the Chinese government the potential to use the cars to gain access to large amounts of data.

Chinese electric vehicles aren’t currently sold in the U.S, and Brown told Biden “we must keep it that way.

“Ohio knows all too well how China illegally subsidizes its companies, putting our workers out of jobs and undermining entire industries, from steel to solar manufacturing,” Brown’s letter continued. “The U.S. must ban Chinese electric vehicles now, and stop a flood of Chinese government-subsidized cars that threaten Ohio auto jobs, and our national and economic security.”

Brown isn’t alone in his concerns about the potential effects of Chinese electric vehicles being sold in the United States. A February report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing described their introduction as a potential “extinction-level event” for the U.S. auto industry.

It said the Chinese companies are spending heavily on plants in Mexico, which they could use to get more favorable tariff treatment under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“This strategy is, in effect, an effort to gain backdoor access to American consumers by circumventing existing policies that are keeping China’s autos out of the U.S. market,” the report said.

According to MSNBC, the China-built BYD Seagull, a small all-electric hatchback, sells for less than $10,000. According to Business Insider, a vehicle called the Hongguang Mini was the top-selling EV in China in 2022 with sales of over 550,000 units, per state news agency Xinhua. Its 2021 starting price was $4,500 in 2021.

Brown’s letter to Biden noted that in 2023, nearly 20% of all EVs sold in Europe were built in China, and that “He said the EV market in the European Union provides a strong warning for what may happen in the United while the European Commission is now investigating subsidies given to EV manufacturers in China, the damage has been done.”

It warned that “a surge in Chinese EV sales would cripple the domestic manufacturing base, including critical inputs from parts suppliers to steel, tires, and glass producers.

“China’s persistence at skirting United States policies to enforce fair trade and a level playing field calls for strong action to stop the problem before it starts,” his letter said. “When the goal is to dominate a sector, tariffs are insufficient to stop their attack on American manufacturing; instead, the Administration should act now to ban Chinese EVs before they destroy the potential for the U.S. EV market.”

Sabrina Eaton writes about the federal government and politics in Washington, D.C., for and The Plain Dealer.