Concerns about Chinese control hang over the upcoming electric vehicle regulation by President Biden.

The Department of Treasury is on the verge of implementing regulations that may further complicate efforts to convince Americans to purchase electric vehicles. This has also prompted Republicans to criticize President Joe Biden for potentially assisting China.


The department is planning to establish regulations in the upcoming weeks outlining their strict stance on electric vehicle batteries containing components from countries like China. This is a crucial factor for the EV tax incentives in 2020.

The climate legislation that bears Biden’s signature..

The government is offering a tax credit of up to $7,500 per vehicle as a key part of their plan to promote the use of electric vehicles. However, this incentive cannot be given to vehicles that use batteries containing components or resources from countries that are considered hostile. This is in an effort to reduce China’s control over the electric vehicle market and support the development of a domestic supply chain.

The administration is fully cognizant of the significant implications of how it chooses to interpret the restriction, both for the achievement of Biden’s climate goals and for his ability to convince voters that his policies will lead to employment and prosperity.

Advocates for the automotive industry argue that implementing a highly stringent standard for Chinese content could result in very few electric vehicles meeting the criteria for the tax exemption. However, other sectors, such as domestic mining, have expressed concerns to the government that their future prospects would suffer if the Treasury does not restrict access to battery components from China.

Regardless of the decision made by the department, Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, are already using the “soft-on-China” tactic against Biden, particularly in the crucial state of Michigan.

Automakers report that private investment in electric vehicle manufacturing in the United States is currently at a standstill due to uncertainty surrounding Treasury’s decision. This is happening at a time when the expected growth of EV sales is also slowing down, contrary to some manufacturers’ projections.

According to Dan Bowerson, the senior director for energy and environment at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, many companies are withholding significant investments until they have a clear understanding of the guidance that will be included. This is a crucial factor for the industry, as the Alliance represents a large portion of the major automakers and suppliers in the U.S. market. This emphasizes the importance of the guidance being determined.

The IRA has narrowed the qualifications for the tax credit to only 22 vehicle models, including those from Tesla, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, and Volkswagen, due to restrictions on the origins of battery components and minerals.

The department emphasized that safeguarding national security is a top concern in implementing the climate legislation.

Ashley Schapitl, spokesperson for the Treasury, stated that the Inflation Reduction Act is promoting energy security by incentivizing investments within the United States and establishing reliable supply chains. As the market adapts to this act and American companies attract more investments, the Treasury will carefully monitor and address any potential national security issues related to both foreign and domestic supply chains.

The current legislation disallows the tax credit for cars that are not manufactured in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Additionally, it limits the credit depending on the proportion of domestically-sourced battery components and essential minerals.

The government is facing significant political pressure to appear strong on China as the election year approaches, specifically regarding electric vehicles. Trump, other Republican candidates for the White House, and GOP members of Congress have criticized Biden’s EV objectives as beneficial to Beijing. Additionally, Senator ______ has also expressed similar concerns.Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has threatened legal action

The current interpretation of the electric vehicle tax credit by the Treasury is being questioned, as it is believed to provide excessive flexibility for car manufacturers to depend on China.

However, if the law’s restriction on “foreign entities of concern” is strictly enforced, it would conflict with the fact that a significant portion of the global supply chains for electric vehicle batteries and critical minerals still rely on China. This could potentially hinder Biden’s objective of achieving 50% electric vehicle sales by the end of the decade by limiting the number of vehicles eligible for the credit.

Tom Moerenhout, a research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, stated that policymakers would be acting more logically regarding the truth of global supply chains and China’s involvement if it were not an election year.

pushing a definition

This would prohibit virtually all collaborations with Chinese manufacturers, such as shared business arrangements and agreements for sharing technology.

The mining industry within the country is actively promoting a strict interpretation that would increase the motivation to purchase domestically sourced minerals such as lithium, nickel, and other essential elements.

Conor Bernstein, vice president of communications at the National Mining Association, stated that it would be a mistake to continue relying heavily on China and other rivals or concerning nations for our mineral supply chains. He believes that Congress intended for this tax credit to reduce our reliance, and it is necessary for us to establish rules that align with this intention.

The department has stated that it will provide the instructions., there were 23 notifications

There were a total of 23 notifications by the end of the year..

China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

2020 law

The Treasury Department incorporated phrasing from the Commerce Department in the recent past, while interpreting a different provision in Biden’s 2020 legislation regarding “foreign entities of concern.”

The CHIPS and Science Act is a piece of legislation that was passed by the United States Congress. It stands for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. This act was created to increase production and funding for the semiconductor industry in the United States.

The CHIPS and Science Act, also known as the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act, is a law that was approved by the US Congress with the purpose of promoting growth and investment in the semiconductor field within the country.

The purpose of the CHIPS law is to reduce the dominance of China in the semiconductor industry. According to the Commerce language, a company could be subject to the restrictions of this law if as little as 25 percent of its stock, voting shares, or board seats are owned by individuals or businesses in countries such as China.

25% of the first $7,500 in

Industry observers accounted for 25% of the initial $7,500 for the electric vehicle tax credit.

At first, the anticipated threshold was 50%.

According to them, the definition of CHIPS used by Commerce could greatly reduce the number of electric vehicle models eligible for the EV tax credit, which would align with other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

The law firm Covington & Burling stated in a blog post in October that the definition proposed by the Commerce Department would greatly restrict the immediate access to battery components and critical minerals that are essential for vehicles eligible for tax credits. This could ultimately decrease the availability of credit-eligible vehicles and go against the intended purpose of the EV tax credit, which is to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.

For instance, according to Moerenhout from Columbia University, the requirement of 25% voting could possibly eliminate a significant portion of nickel production from Indonesia. This could pose a challenge for Ford, which heavily relies on sourcing battery minerals from the country, as the sector is largely dominated by Chinese companies. Additionally, it could also eliminate battery powders that are processed in South Korea but originally sourced from China.

The electric vehicle sector argues that the CHIPS definition should not be enforced by the Treasury, citing differing objectives between the two laws. According to Alex Laska, deputy director for the climate and energy program at Third Way, while the electric vehicle tax credit aims to establish a domestic alternative to China’s dominant supply chain, the CHIPS Act is designed to protect American semiconductor technology from being transferred to China.

Any definition less stringent than the CHIPS guidance would probably inflame opponents, however. Sen. Marco Rubio2020

In March 2020, the bill was introduced by (R-Fla.).S. 756 (118)

The requirement has been proposed to define “foreign entities of concern” as including businesses with a minimum of 20% ownership by Chinese entities and those that depend on technology licensed from a Chinese company.

The said definition would extend beyond the CHIPS guidance, and may be able to…

Capture Ford’s acceptance in the month of February. to license Chinese battery technology for a planned plant in Michigan. The carmaker, which is facing widespread Republican criticism of the deal, has since paused construction on the plant.

Doing the math

The Treasury’s determination of how to assess and uphold the mandates could hold even greater significance for car manufacturers.

The corporations have advocated for a “de minimis” limit that would permit small quantities of components or minerals from Chinese vendors, due to the challenge of tracking those that are used in a vehicle. The North American Free Trade Agreement and its successor, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), also employed a comparable threshold for goods of minimal value that are exempt from customs duties.

“We are seeking a safe harbor, similar to what is already established in our trade policy, for trivial or trace amounts that cannot be discovered despite sincere efforts,” explained Genevieve Cullen, the president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association. “There are situations where compliance would be impossible.”

One car company, Volkswagen, is urging the Treasury to use a value-added test when assessing the involvement of foreign entities in the supply chain.

has already announced plans to use the test for its electric vehicle production

The Treasury is currently utilizing this test in a different capacity for the electric vehicle tax credit. This means that a car or truck can receive the incentive if at least 50% of the added value from extracting or processing critical minerals takes place in the U.S. or a trading partner. Volkswagen has already declared their intention to adopt this test for their electric vehicle manufacturing.

Discussed within the department’s comments.

In June, it was suggested that the “foreign entity of concern” rule should only be applied if a hostile country contributed at least half of the value.

However, any method of measurement that gives car manufacturers more leeway could anger the China critics in Congress.

The Treasury’s guidance must explicitly state that taxpayer subsidies cannot be directed to foreign entities of concern, regardless of any method of arrangement. The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee emphasizes the need for comprehensive clarification on this matter.Jason Smith (R-Mo.) 2013

In September 2013, a letter was sent to the Treasury Department.

“We must provide clear and timely guidance on this matter to avoid any confusion and ensure that taxpayer subsidies do not fall into the hands of our enemies.”

In September, Manchin strongly criticized the value-added test during a hearing.

Manchin stated that the administration is attempting to implement a law that was not approved by Congress. He believes that the administration’s focus is on promoting electric vehicles, rather than prioritizing our energy security and competing with China.

Ultimately, car manufacturers and supporters of electric vehicles are eagerly anticipating the release of guidance, regardless of its contents, as soon as possible. President Biden signed the climate legislation in August 2022, and the restriction on battery parts from unfriendly nations will go into effect on January 1st. (The restriction on vital minerals from those nations will take effect a year later.) There is concern among advocates of electric vehicles that companies will have insufficient time to comply with these regulations.

Cullen stated that decisions about investments are currently being made for vehicles that will be available for purchase in two years. It is important to make these decisions as soon as possible, as the supply chains involved are highly intricate and involve multiple tiers.