WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canada will be “watching closely” as the United States responds to complaints from Europe about the North American protectionism built into President Joe Biden’s signature climate change initiative.
Biden received an earful from French President Emmanuel Macron about “super aggressive” climate incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act — incentives that favour manufacturers in Canada and Mexico, as well as the U.S.
It wasn’t always that way. Biden’s original Build Back Better package included a tax credit scheme for electric vehicles that reserved the most generous incentives for U.S.-assembled EVs built with union labour.
That package fell apart, but its 11th-hour replacement — a kitchen-sink, pre-midterms effort framed as an inflation fighter — brought North American vehicles and critical minerals into the fold, thanks in part to concerted Canadian lobbying.