Unlike George Washington, Joe Biden won’t be incorrectly remembered as the president who was incapable of telling a lie. Biden’s incessant false claims are well known to readers of conservative publications, who along with Donald Trump routinely refer to America’s president as “Lyin’ Joe Biden.” Even Biden’s cheerleaders at America’s mainstream publications can’t stomach some of his whoppers these days.

At least six legacy publications have called out Biden’s false claim that inflation was at 9% when he began his presidency. In fact, it was 1.4%.

Washington Post

Biden has yet to be held accountable for another monumental deception, one with international trade and other implications that could leave America forever behind as the rest of the industrialized world transitions to electric vehicles. The president recently moved to quadruple tariffs on electric vehicles made by China’s EV manufacturers to 100%, even those that are assembled in Mexico, where GM manufactures its electric Equinox and Blazer EVs and Ford proudly assembles its electric Mustang.

“American workers can outwork and outcompete anyone as long as the competition is fair,” Biden told reporters. “But for too long, it hasn’t been fair. For years, the Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese companies … it’s not competition, it’s cheating.”

Biden, of course, is an authority on cheating, given his repeated instances of plagiarism, including a law review article that forced him to withdraw from his 1987 presidential campaign. While it’s true that China has heavily subsidized that country’s burgeoning and successful EV industry, the Biden Administration and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have showered Ford and GM with tens of billions of taxpayer grants and subsidies, and those companies are still losers when it comes to EV manufacturing.

Bloomberg, May 10, 2024

Bloomberg reported that Ford lost more than $100,000 on every EV it sold in the first quarter, more than double the deficit it racked up a year ago. Most of Ford’s $11 billion EV investments in Tennessee and Kentucky are financed with a controversial $9.2 billion sweetheart loan Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm granted that allows Ford to borrow money at the same favorable rates as the U.S. government. Ford’s original $3.5 billion promised investment to build a battery plant in rural Michigan was subsidized with more than $1.7 billion in grants and subsidies from Michigan taxpayers, a deal so obscene it was ranked as the worst taxpayer ripoff of 2023.

Ford has since delayed the launch of one of its battery plants in Kentucky and scaled back its Michigan investment by $1 billion, after destroying fertile farmland and century old trees. Adding insult to injury, Ford’s Michigan battery plant utilizes the technology of a China-based company, for which it will pay a 12% royalty on sales.

GM has mooched so much off U.S. taxpayers over the years that it rightly acquired the moniker “Government Motors.” GM also loses money on its EVs, but fortunately the company hasn’t sold many of them because of design and software issues.

Given my disdain and distrust of China and fear of President Xi Jinping’s publicly stated goal to rule the world by 2049, I’m always instantly willing to assume any success that country achieves was the result of wrongful and duplicitous behavior. Unfortunately, China achieved its EV supremacy by dint of the communist government’s ability to articulate and execute a business vision and the wicked smarts of entrepreneurs who leveraged it.

To put it bluntly, China’s government and automotive leaders have demonstrated they are considerably better and smarter than Biden Administration officials and the leaderships of GM and Ford. That’s hardly a surprise given that China’s EV transition was spearheaded by Wan Gang, a former automotive executive who worked for Audi in Germany for a decade and holds a doctorate in engineering; America’s EV transition is spearheaded by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, whose name was already synonymous with green energy failures during her two terms as Michigan’s governor, and Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend whose claim to fame is he’s the first openly gay person to serve in a president’s cabinet.

China’s EV transition was also abetted by Elon Musk, who received special privileges for building Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai in exchange for agreeing to help China nurture its EV manufacturing. Xi Jinping reportedly regards Musk as a “technology utopian with no political allegiance to any country.” Musk is also building a Gigafactory in Mexico, and Bloomberg reported that he invited Chinese suppliers to Mexico to replicate the local supply chain at Tesla’s Shanghai plant.

Tesla plans to build a cheaper next-generation electric vehicle at a massive facility in the state of Nuevo Leon, helped in part by $153 million in local government incentives.

Although President Biden touts electric vehicles as a panacea to climate change, which he says has reached “code red for humanity,” China’s decision to dominate EV manufacturing wasn’t driven by environmental concerns but rather a calculated attempt to displace the major U.S., European, and Japanese automakers.

China’s government appreciated that its own citizens had a low regard for domestic manufacturers and preferred foreign brands. Even GM, a faded brand in the U.S. for several decades, had a certain cachet in China, particularly its Buick nameplate. As recently as 2015, GM commanded a 15% market share in China and for years the automaker made more money in that country than it did in the U.S.

“(China) realized … that they would never overtake the US, German, and Japanese legacy automakers on internal-combustion engine innovation,” Tu Le, managing director of Sino Auto Insights, a business consulting firm that specializes in transportation, told MIT Technology Review. “And research on hybrid vehicles, whose batteries in the early years served a secondary role relative to the gas engine, was already being led by countries like Japan, meaning China also couldn’t really compete there either.”

China’s government also appreciated that EVs needed to be affordable and also reliable. In April 2021, the government forced Tesla to issue a public apology for its “arrogance” in its handling of customer complaints that the company’s vehicles were defective.

Tesla and Musk have openly demonstrated considerable disdain for America’s regulators, with Musk dismissing Biden as a “damp sock puppet.” Musk raves about China’s leadership and the work ethic of its citizens.

China controls most of the refinery capacity in the world when it comes to critical battery components like cobalt, nickel sulfate, lithium hydroxide, and graphite. Alicia García-Herrero, chief economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis, told MIT Technology Review that China’s control of the chemical materials is “the ultimate control of the (EV) sector, which China has clearly pursued for years well before others even figured that this was something important.” 

New York Times, November 20, 2021

The New York Times reported that Biden’s son, Hunter, played an instrumental role in China gaining control of a major source of Cobalt deposits.

Biden’s decision to quadruple tariffs on China EVs is a sop to uninformed Michiganders whose votes he desperately needs to get reelected. Despite being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, GM under CEO Mary Barra became China’s biggest automotive manufacturer and Ford has moved critical engineering jobs south of the border, despite claiming on its website it is “All In On America.”

In addition to its electric Mustang, Ford also manufacturers its Maverick pickup and Bronco Sport SUV in Mexico. Ford CEO Jim Farley hinted he may move more jobs offshore in wake of the UAW first targeting Ford’s most profitable plant in its “Stand Up” strike last fall.

Placing tariffs on China’s Mexican-made EVs but allowing Ford, GM, and Tesla to export EVs they assemble south of the border would encourage the automakers to build more EV plants there. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides significant tax rebates on Mexican-made EVs that are sold in the U.S

Toyota News Release

Biden’s tariffs could put Japanese and European manufacturers who are investing heavily in America to source their EV plant operations at a potential disadvantage. As best I can tell, Toyota’s committed $19 billion in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing considerably exceeds Ford’s and GM’s EV commitments in America.

It’s far from certain that European nations will embrace Biden’s punitive tariffs on China’s EVs. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a political debate Tuesday that the EU shares some U.S. concerns about China, including on overcapacity. However, rather than imposing broad tariffs, “we have a different approach, a much more tailored approach,” von der Leyen said.

Tesla and BMW manufacture EVs in China and export them to Europe. For that matter, GM and Ford sell cars in the U.S. that were manufactured in China. Carlos Tavares, CEO of Europe-based Stellantis who previously warned that Biden’s aggressive EV mandates weren’t feasible, has publicly slammed the president’s China tariffs.

What’s undeniable is China’s formidable lead in EV manufacturing. My cousin David recently shared with me an email he received from an EV enthusiast friend who drives a Tesla and is visiting China. The friend said that most of China’s EVs cost less than $30,000, have the fit and finish of a German car, and he was awed by the Geely-made EV taxis he rode in.

“(China’s EVs) would wipe out Detroit’s feeble electric car attempts in a week,” the friend said.

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