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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) issued the following statement amid ongoing contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the “Big Three” automakers, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

“A UAW strike would devastate our economy and harm a lot of people who depend on the auto industry,” said Senator Vance. “I hope labor and industry leaders can avoid such an outcome, but this moment of strife comes from the fact that American auto workers have gotten the short end of the stick. Any resolution must account for that fact. 
“I support the UAW’s demand for higher wages, but there is a 6,000-pound elephant in the room: the premature transition to electric vehicles. While EV supply chains are still heavily concentrated in China, the Biden administration sends billions to that industry every year. While most Americans want to drive a gas-powered car, the Biden administration pursues a policy explicitly designed to increase the cost of gas. They do this in the name of the environment, but all they’re doing is enriching the dirtiest economy in the world at the expense of auto workers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
“I am among the most pro-labor Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Most auto workers understand that Biden policies are destroying the American car industry, and this moment presents an opportunity for UAW leadership to change course. UAW leadership encouraged their membership to vote for the most anti-car president in American history. They cannot now act shocked that Joe Biden is doing exactly as he promised.
“These policies lead to an inevitable place: lower wages for auto workers and higher prices for drivers. It’s a lose-lose proposition.
“We must recognize that the wages of American auto workers depend on the strength of the American auto industry. Every time Biden subsidizes an EV component made in China, every time his administration drives up the price of gasoline, there is an American auto worker who loses bargaining power and an American family who loses their access to a middle-class life.
“There is no long-term solution to this crisis until we stop Biden’s war on American cars. And that won’t happen until the UAW leadership realizes what membership understood years ago: Joe Biden is no friend to the American auto worker or the consumers who depend on their craftsmanship.”

For Background:

  • Two neighboring Ohio factories – one new, one closed – could tell the future of US auto industry (CNN report)
    • “The massive Lordstown Assembly factory in Ohio, nearly the size of the Pentagon, more than 50 years old and nearly empty, is a reminder of the past strength of both General Motors and the United Auto Workers union. The much smaller, new electric vehicle battery factory next door could be the future for both the company and the union.”
  • UAW Anticipating an Electric Shock (National Review op-ed)
    • “It is positively inhumane not to recognize that the EV revolution will create massive winners and losers. The problem is, we know how that story goes.”
    • Kevin Hassett is the former Chairman of President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers
  • Biden Pushes Electric Vehicles, Which Kill Union Jobs (Wall Street Journal op-ed)
    • “Joe Biden calls himself the most pro-union president in history, but he’s pushing policies that would eliminate tens of thousands of United Auto Workers members’ jobs. More surprising, UAW leadership is going along with it.”
    • Linda McMahon is the former Administrator of President Trump’s Small Business Administration. James Sherk is the Director of the Center for American Freedom at the America First Policy Institute.
  • Electric Vehicles Seen Imperiling US Jobs, UAW Says (Transport Topics report)
    • Jennifer Kelly, former Research Director for the UAW: “The workers who are making engines and transmissions today, their jobs will be eliminated when we make a transition to electric vehicles … We’re looking at a considerable net job loss just in that technological transition.”