Lithium-Rich Argentina Presses US for Exception to Tap EV Tax Bonanza – by James Fernyhough, Yvonne Yue Li, Patrick Gillespie and Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – December 2, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The world’s fastest-growing lithium producer is lobbying hard to gain access to President Joe Biden’s new electric vehicle tax credits, despite Argentina not meeting the requirement of being a US free-trade partner. So far, it’s being rebuffed.

Designed to end China’s overwhelming dominance of the critical metals sector and passed in August, Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act has been welcomed as a landmark climate law that will boost EV manufacture and uptake in the US. But to qualify for the credits, it requires 80% of the battery metals in each vehicle to be “extracted or processed” in the US or a country with US free-trade agreement by 2027.

That rules out Argentina, which on paper looks a logical partner in Biden’s push and could help alleviate supply constraints for carmakers including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.

The South American nation has one of the largest known reserves of lithium, the biggest pipeline of new projects, and its relations with the US have improved since Biden took office.

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