U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio has called on President Joe Biden to permanently ban Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs). Citing national security threats and detrimental impacts on the U.S. economy, particularly the automotive sector, Senator Brown emphasized the unfair competition American companies face due to the substantial subsidies Chinese automakers receive from their government.

A Letter to the President

Senator Brown outlined the existential threat subsidized Chinese electric vehicles pose to the American auto industry in his letter to President Biden. He highlighted China’s history of providing illegal subsidies to its industries, which have harmed U.S. sectors ranging from steel to solar manufacturing.

“We cannot allow China to bring its government-backed cheating to the American auto industry” the Senator stated, advocating for a comprehensive ban to safeguard U.S. jobs and national security.

The senator highlighted how Chinese automakers’ substantial support creates an unequal playing field, jeopardizing the United Autoworkers Union’s ability to secure better wages and benefits for its members.

National Security Risks

Senator Brown also expressed concern over the potential national security risks posed by Chinese EVs. The advanced technology and data collection capabilities of these vehicles could, he warned, enable the Chinese government to access vast amounts of U.S. data.

A History of Advocacy

A staunch advocate for American manufacturing, Senator Brown has consistently criticized China’s trade practices. He has championed several legislative initiatives to reinforce U.S. trade laws and protect domestic industries. Notable among these is the bipartisan Leveling the Playing Field 2.0 Act, aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of U.S. trade remedy laws.

Earlier this year, he called on the Biden administration to increase tariffs on Chinese solar imports to safeguard American jobs, particularly highlighting First Solar in Toledo, Ohio. Furthermore, he led a Senate vote in May to reinstate duties on Chinese solar panels sold below cost.

His opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership was grounded in concerns over its less stringent auto rules of origin compared to NAFTA, which he feared would disadvantage the Ohio automotive industry.

Senator Brown’s demand to permanently ban Chinese EVs highlights a broader commitment to defending U.S. industries against what he sees as unfair or harmful foreign competition. His efforts reflect the ongoing tension between U.S. policy objectives and the strategies employed by foreign competitors, especially China, emphasizing the critical balance between open markets and protecting national interests.

Image Source: CBT News