- While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many tragedies, the last few years have reminded us of the value of friendships in our professional and personal lives.
Every day, as Canada’s consul general in Ohio, I see that Ohio’s communities and families have no better friends than Canada, and Canadians value their relationship with the Buckeye State.
The coming months will feed an opportunity for our two countries to do things “better” in that relationship. But, unfortunately, rather than relying on our friendship, the United States intends to go alone to develop electric vehicles (EVs).
The auto supply chain between the United States and Canada has been intertwined since 1904, when Henry Ford established a Canadian subsidiary in Windsor, Ontario.
That was the case in Ohio: before the pandemic, Canada purchased approximately $3.3 billion (in US dollars) in auto parts from workers in the Buckeye State. Overall, automotive trade between the United States and Canada is worth about $100 billion per year, supporting 1.1 million well-paying jobs in the United States, many of which are unionized.
Of course, the auto industry is evolving. The US and Canada are better positioned than almost any other country to become global leaders in zero-emission EV production. President Joe Biden or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed on a strategy to position our two countries as global leaders in EV battery manufacturing, leveraging our mutual advantages.
After all, Canada is the one country in the Western Hemisphere that possesses all of the critical minerals required to manufacture batteries for use in electric vehicles.
Canada offers EV tax credits, but they are not limited to vehicles manufactured in Canada. If Canada is barred from the US EV market, Canadians will be under pressure to respond. The best news is that there is still time to come up with a solution.
Members of Congress, particularly those in the Senate, are currently debating the specifics of this EV tax credit. Let us encourage them to find a solution that preserves the integrated Canada-US automotive market so that we can shift into high gear and win the EV race together.
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