While the EV transition in the U.S. has slowed somewhat as of late, China has long remained committed to electrification, and currently has arguably the most competitive market for those types of vehicles at the moment. Ford is well aware of this fact, with CEO Jim Farley previously stating that Chinese EVs are the company’s main rivals and noting that he expects those vehicles to eventually make it to U.S. soil, while chairman Bill Ford added that he doesn’t believe The Blue Oval is currently positioned to compete with Chinese EVs, too. Thus, as Ford Authority reported back in December, President Joe Biden is reportedly considering raising tariffs on imported vehicles as a way to help American companies better compete against cheaper Chinese EVs – a notion the Untied Auto Workers (UAW) agrees with – but it’s also possible the Biden Administration takes a different approach to solving this problem as well, according to Bloomberg.
Aside from simply raising tariffs on imported Chinese EVs, the Biden Administration is reportedly also considering other restrictions aimed at keeping these “smart cars” and their related technology out of the U.S. altogether amid data security concerns. These actions would apply to all parts and EVs that originate in China – and potentially other countries – no matter where they might be assembled.
Currently, officials are concerned about these vehicles being built and then imported into the U.S. via places like Mexico, which would then presumably collect data from their owners and then relay that back to the parent companies. Such issues have long been a hot topic issue in the U.S., where many are already expressing concerns over how much data newer vehicles collect, as well as what automakers do with that data.
It’s unclear what, exactly, the White House plans to do about this potential issue, but a source indicated that it may use “existing Commerce Department authorities to regulate some information and communications technology transactions.” However, talks are still ongoing, and no decisions pertaining to actionable measures have been made as of yet.