Manchin Blasts Biden’s Proposed Treasury Department Rule Empowering China

Despite his political affiliation, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has not been shy about taking aim at the Biden administration’s policies, sparking persistent speculation that he might be planning a third-party presidential bid.

In a statement late last week, he criticized a rule proposed by the White House whereby the Treasury Department could more easily distribute electric vehicle tax credits to companies headquartered in hostile foreign nations.

“The proposed Treasury rules on Foreign Entities of Concern are another example of the Biden administration clearly breaking the law to try to implement a bill that it could not pass,” he said, citing a stipulation within the Inflation Reduction Act that “clearly states that consumer vehicles are ineligible for tax credits if ‘any of the applicable critical minerals contained in the battery’ come from China or other foreign adversaries after 2024.”

Along with China, the Inflation Reduction Act expressly prohibits distribution of the $7,500 tax credit to vehicles with batteries and certain other components originating in Russia, North Korea or Iran.

“But this administration is, yet again, trying to find workarounds and delays that leave the door wide open for China to benefit off the backs of American taxpayers,” Manchin added.

His statement took direct aim at the Biden administration’s tendency to de-emphasize domestic production of integral goods in favor of importation from often adversarial regimes around the world.

“I remember waiting in line at the gas station in 1974 after the oil embargo,” he said. “And I can tell you that I do not intend to wait in line for a battery produced in China if I am forced to buy an EV. The United States has never had to rely on foreign adversaries to build our cars and trucks.”

While the Inflation Reduction Act has attracted widespread criticism for its massive price tag and the fact that, contrary to its name would suggest, was not designed to bring down consumer prices, Manchin noted that there is an upside as long as the Biden administration is not allowed to undo it.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to onshore our supply chains and invest in American workers,” he explained. “I will take every avenue and opportunity to reverse this unlawful, shameful proposed rule and protect our energy security — that includes pushing the Treasury Department to make revisions, pursuing a Congressional Review Act resolution and supporting any lawsuit against the rule.”