May 16, 2024

First Washington News

We Do Spectacular General & News

EV tax credit proposal shows international car dealers have few friends in Washington

There is a popular and apocryphal quote, attributed to Harry S. Truman, which advises that, “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.”

International dealers have never felt the truth in that statement as powerfully as we do now. Our friends in Washington are few and far between these days as we seek protection against an un-American provision being shoehorned into the Build Back Better Act to benefit the UAW. The provision would offer consumers a $4,500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle, but only if that vehicle was assembled in a union-represented plant.

The language is transparently a political payment from politicians to the unions that fund their campaigns. After all, a union-only tax credit doesn’t promote EV sales. It drastically limits EV choices for consumers and will slow the conversion to electric vehicles. It also doesn’t protect American workers. Today, 673,000 Americans are employed by nonunionized international nameplate manufacturers and dealers (not including Tesla and others). And it certainly doesn’t benefit taxpayers, whose money will go to subsidize a narrow sector of the American auto industry, concentrated in just a few Midwest states.

You would think a concept this unscrupulous would have been scratched by now. You would think that every senator and representative who has an international brand plant in their state or district would be shouting on the rooftops against this provision. And you’d be wrong.

Only a handful of brave lawmakers have stood up against the union-only tax credit. Recently included in that group is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, as well as my representative, Andy Barr, R-Ky. If you also have legislator who’s taken a strong negative position on this provision — thank them! And congratulations on having a true friend in Washington.

If you don’t know where your representative and senators stand, now is a great time to contact them directly and ask what they’re doing to protect all American workers and the environment. Visit to send a letter, or a quick video, directly to your legislators. Friends or not, they answer to us, and they need to be prepared to defend their position on this damaging and crooked proposal.

In the meantime, feel free to get a dog. Or simply rest assured that no matter what happens in the next few months, you will always have one steadfast friend in Washington: the American International Automobile Dealers Association. We will never waver, obfuscate or hesitate when it comes to protecting your interests on Capitol Hill. We can’t be bought off by the UAW, and we’re not going to stay silent to protect our political influence. For more than 50 years, we’ve had one mission — to protect international nameplate dealers. We’re not afraid of any fight, and we won’t be sitting this one out.