White House official says U.S. open to discussions with Canada about proposed EV incentive

A senior White House official says the Biden administration is sympathetic to Canada’s concerns about a proposed electric vehicle tax credit, but offered no indication of a plan to drop the idea.

“We love Canada here at the White House,” said Juan Gonzalez,¬†a special assistant to U.S. President Joe Biden and the National Security Council senior director for the Western Hemisphere.

“We’re talking to the Canadians about ensuring that we stay aligned and we ensure that our prosperity is also Canada’s prosperity¬†… There is a commitment here to making sure that we are continuing to build things together with Canada.”

Gonzalez made the remarks during an interview on CBC’s Power & Politics, which you can watch at the top of this page.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers spent much of their trip to Washington this week trying to convince lawmakers to drop a proposed rebate that would apply only to EVs manufactured in the U.S.

The incentive could eventually be worth as much as $12,500 per vehicle.

The proposal is part of a nearly $2 trillion social safety net and climate bill that was approved by the House of Representatives on Friday. The bill must still be passed by the Senate.

Canada says the incentive would cause enormous damage to the domestic auto industry and undermines decades of cross-border cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also said this week that the proposal would violate the new NAFTA. She said the incentive could become the “dominant” issue in the Canada-U.S. relationship.

Gonzalez noted that the bill has not yet been formally approved and that further discussions about its contents are possible.

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