President Joe Biden’s recent push for Americans to buy electric vehicles is hurting South Korea’s auto industry, upsetting one of America’s key allies, the the wall street journal reported.
In May, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group, parent company of Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., pledged to invest $5.5 billion in U.S. electric vehicles. Biden visited Seoul that month, promising business leaders, “I won’t let you down.” But in August, Biden signed the Cut Inflation Act, which includes a $7,500 tax credit for customers who buy electric vehicles assembled in America, a devastating blow to foreign manufacturers. of electric vehicles.
Biden promised Americans he would “restore America’s standing in the world,” but South Korea is not the first ally Biden has managed to antagonize while president. Last year, Biden infuriated France for sabotaging the country’s $66 billion submarine deal with Australia by striking his own deal to help Australia develop a nuclear-powered submarine. . France reacted by recalling its American ambassadors, a first in the Franco-American alliance.
Hyundai and Kia, which currently assemble their electric vehicles in South Korea, complained that Biden’s new stipulation does not provide a “level playing field for customers and workers.” Senior Seoul officials have come to Washington in recent weeks to express their displeasure. South Koreans’ frustration with Biden’s huge climate and tax bill, which many domestic critics say will do nothing to reduce inflation, highlights the Biden administration’s struggle to maintain both its national program and its foreign alliances.
“There is a disconnect between Biden’s domestic agenda and foreign policy in terms of trying to promote supply chain cooperation and coordinating with allies on critical emerging technologies,” said Andrew Yeo, an expert on South Korean issues. Log. “That basically comes down to a matter of trust for South Korea.”
“The public is shocked, appalled, disappointed,” said Kim Byoung-joo, political adviser to former South Korean trade ministers. “The US government needs to do something about this. They can’t just sit there.”
On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with the South Korean Prime Minister in Tokyo about those concerns. She promised that the United States would consult with its allies in the future.
South Korea has provided 35,000 jobs for Americans so far this year, largely thanks to investments in electric vehicles, according to Reshoring Initiative. South Korean media reports that Kia plans to start assembling electric vehicles in the United States in 2024 to stay competitive in the market.