Sherrod Brown Calls for a Ban on the Sale of Chinese EVs in the United States

By Matthew McMullan
Apr 12 2024 |
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) chairs a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee. File Photo

“Tariffs alone are insufficient,” argues the senator from Ohio, pointing to the level of risk Chinese auto imports present to the U.S. auto industry.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) this week called for an outright ban on the sale of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, warning that exposing the U.S. auto industry to such heavily subsidized import competition would be a huge risk and that “tariffs alone are insufficient.”

“There are currently no Chinese EVs for sale in the United States, and we must keep it that way,” the senator wrote in a letter to President Biden. “I implore you to take bold, aggressive action and to permanently ban EVs produced by Chinese companies or whatever subsidiaries they establish to conceal their origins.”

Brown is not the only Member of Congress to speak about the looming threat of heavily subsidized Chinese auto imports. As Chinese direct investment in Mexico has increased — and after the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) called for action in a February report — others have called for tariff hikes. But a ban is the strongest response yet proposed, and the senator makes a pretty good argument for it.

Here’s the 40 second video version:   

And here is the argument for a Chinese EV ban in more detail, from Brown’s letter to the White House:

Allowing Chinese EVs into American markets is inconsistent with a pro-worker industrial policy. Time and again, we have seen the Chinese government dump highly-subsidized goods into markets for the purpose of undermining domestic manufacturing. With this approach, the Chinese Communist Party is playing a long game – identifying critical emerging sectors, treating them as mechanisms for large-scale domestic employment, and then subsidizing them to the detriment of foreign competitors. This monopolistic approach undermines critical manufacturing sectors in the United States, Canada, and Europe – from solar panels to batteries to steel. We cannot let the same occur when it comes to EVs. American automakers and autoworkers need a level playing field – they cannot, and should not be expected to, compete with these heavily subsidized Chinese EVs. If Chinese electric vehicles are allowed to enter the U.S. market, it could decimate the American auto industry.

For more background, read the AAM report on the threat posed by a flood of Chinese auto imports.