CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – NOVEMBER 22, 2020
Presidential Policy Priorities That Will Impact the Automotive Industry (PT. 2)
President Trump has broken with the Republican party’s past support for free trade, has implemented tariffs and other protectionist measures with the aim of reshoring U.S. jobs, and has blocked the World Trade Organization (WTO) from functioning to enforce violations of global rules-based trading system. Biden has supported trade liberalization in the past—but with special provisions for labor and environmental standards. The Vice President has criticized President Trump’s tariffs as ineffective tools to increase U.S. jobs and investment. Both Trump and Biden single out China as a global trade violator, but while Trump has sought bi-lateral deals with Beijing, Biden plans to take a multilateral approach to balancing China’s economic power through more vigorous enforcement of existing trading rules and support for the WTO.
Similarly, Biden has said he would strictly enforce provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that entered into force on 1 July 2020. A second-term Trump Administration or a Biden Administration are not expected to make significant changes to the USMCA during the next four years.
There are fundamental differences between President Trump and Vice President Biden when it comes to regulatory policy. Trump sees regulations as barriers to economic growth, while Biden supports the use of regulations to achieve his broader goals, especially the goal of combatting climate change. Automakers also expect the next Administration will take up fuel economy and GHG rules for model years 2026 and beyond during the next four years.
The Trump Administration has touted its Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Final Rule as striking a better balance to protect the environment and set “reasonable targets” for the automotive industry. A second Trump term would likely bring more of the same approach to fuel economy and GHG regulation, as well as continuing the court challenge to California’s Clean Air Act waiver that allows the state to regulate GHG. Biden, on the other hand, has committed to rejoin the Paris Accords and put in place policies that would bring the United States to net-zero emissions by 2050. Biden’s plan includes USD 2 trillion for clean energy initiatives—including setting higher fuel-economy standards and committing the federal government to purchasing zero-emissions vehicles. Biden would likely withdraw the U.S. challenge to the California air quality waiver that is pending review in federal court, and also plans to expand EV purchase incentives and to build a network of 500,000 EV charging units by 2030.
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