President Joe Biden’s administration has taken several steps to distance itself from the electric car-maker Tesla, which enjoyed a close relationship with previous administrations, as part of its larger crackdown on major tech companies.
The Washington Post reported that former President Barack Obama touted how his Energy Department helped fund Tesla’s success towards the end of his administration, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk received and welcomed support from former President Donald Trump last year after he reopened his manufacturing facilities in California despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Biden’s administration has been less friendly with the company. The Post notes that last month, when the White House held an event to announce a new goal when it comes to electric and hybrid car manufacturing, Tesla was not invited. House Democrats have made similar moves against the car maker, after they revealed plans to provide an additional $4,500 in customer incentives for buying a new electric vehicle, but only ones that are union-made within the United States. The Post notes that Tesla is the only major automaker in the country that does not have a union.
“This is written by Ford/UAW lobbyists, as they make their electric car in Mexico. Not obvious how this serves American taxpayers,” Musk tweeted on Sunday, in response to the proposal.
Erin Hatch Thomas, the House Ways and Means Committee’s communications director, said in a statement to the Post that “the Democratic Caucus strongly values workers’ rights as well as American-based manufacturing, both of which this proposal encourages.”
Dan Ives, an analyst with the investment firm Wedbush Securities, told the newspaper that “Tesla’s defending its turf but at the same point they have a head wind as more and more of these EV tax incentives benefit the likes of a GM, Ford and other union-driven stalwarts. And Tesla is on the wrong side of this trend the way the bills are today.”
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