President Trump lambasts President Biden’s EV mandate, continues pitch to major autoworkers union amid strike threat.
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged American auto workers to repeal President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle (EV) mandate in any potential strike negotiations.
President Trump issued his statement on Truth Social, addressing members and leaders of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as their contract negotiations come down to the wire. UAW is one of the largest trade unions in North America.
It has threatened to take its 140,000 members on a full or partial strike as tense talks continue. A strike by this industry could potentially harm the U.S. economy and threaten President Joe Biden’s clean energy objectives.
Addressing a potential strike, President Trump urged American autoworkers to firmly reject President Biden’s EV mandate, which he characterized as “insane,” in any strike negotiations.
President Trump has previously warned that Michigan’s significant auto industry would suffer if the EV mandate goes through.
Michigan is a key swing state in the upcoming 2024 presidential race. In the 2020 election, Michigan voters sided with President Biden.
Figures from 2021 show that Michigan boasted more than 175,700 jobs in motor vehicle and parts manufacturing. Michigan led all states in jobs in this sector. Nevertheless, this figure accounted for just 37.2 percent of the state’s peak employment in this sector.
President Trump warned that if President Biden’s policy regarding electric vehicles were to stand, the U.S. auto industry would be at risk of extinction, and the country would lose those jobs to China.
“If that disastrous Biden policy is allowed to stand, the U.S. auto industry will cease to exist, and all your jobs will be sent to China,” President Trump said. “That’s why there’s no such thing as a ‘fair transition’ to all-electric cars. For the American Autoworker, that’s a transition to Hell. Nothing is more important than terminating this job-crushing mandate.”
President Trump accused President Biden of yielding to environmental extremists in his party, asserting that American labor and American autoworkers were suffering the consequences of this decision. He urged UAW members to stand strong against what he labeled as “Biden’s vicious attack.”
“And if you want more jobs, higher wages, and soaring pensions, vote for President Trump and have your leaders endorse me,” he said.
“If they don’t,” he continued, referring to UAW leaders, “drop out of the Union and start a new one that’s going to protect your interests right. I delivered for you before, and I will deliver for you again.”
On Aug. 31, UAW President Shawn Fain extended support to the Biden administration’s EV transition program, saying that the organization is “ready for the transition to a clean auto industry.”
Mr. Fain’s statement had previously drawn a warning from President Trump on Sept. 4, who said the union leader “cannot even think about allowing ALL ELECTRIC CARS—THEY WILL ALL BE MADE IN CHINA, and the Auto Industry in America will cease to exist!”
The former president’s statements come as the Biden administration is pushing for the use of electric vehicles in the United States. The White House aims for electric vehicles to have a 50 percent share of sales by 2030.
President Trump, who is running for the GOP nomination, declared on Wednesday that no president “has ever fought harder for autoworkers” than him. He highlighted several key actions taken during his time in the White House that he believes saved the U.S. auto industry from peril.
“Time after time, I rescued the U.S. auto industry from certain destruction,” he said.
President Trump cited the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as one of his initial moves, asserting that it protected American autoworkers from potential threats. Additionally, he emphasized the overhaul of the Korea trade deal, which restored protective tariffs on pickup trucks, safeguarding domestic manufacturing.
Another pivotal point in his argument was the cancellation of the Obama-era Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules, which he labeled as “job-killing.” President Trump said that by eliminating these regulations, he prevented detrimental impacts on the industry and ensured its continued vitality.
Perhaps the most significant action President Trump touted was the replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). He stressed that during the negotiations, he insisted on “unprecedented protections for American Labor” particularly for American autoworkers.
“If I had caved on ANY of those promises to workers, the U.S. auto industry would right now be GONE. It would be DEAD,” President Trump said.
In addition to the significant pay increase, the UAW is seeking a four-year contract that includes a 32-hour workweek with 40 hours of pay and the restoration of traditional pensions.
Earlier this month, Ford said that nearly 8,000 UAW members were on track to receive a roughly $9,000 increase per year, which could increase with overtime.
With his criticism of President Biden’s EV mandate, President Trump has been courting the UAW, which has not yet endorsed a 2024 presidential candidate.