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In letter to Biden, Hogan raises concerns about EV incentives he claims will hurt foreign companies with U.S. plants

BALTIMORE -- In a letter sent to President Biden on Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan raised concerns about "well-intentioned but misguided provisions" in the Inflation Reduction Act he claims will damage foreign automakers in allied countries that produce some videos in America.

The U.S. ranks as the third biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles, behind China and the European continent, according to data provided by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Hogan, who is on a trade mission to Korea and Japan, said the law only offers tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles assembled in North America, which would shut out some models produced by companies like Hyundai Motor Company based in Korea.

Hyundai announced plans this year to build a $5.5 billion plant in Georgia to produce EVs from its brands Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. But under the new law, some models assembled overseas would not qualify for a tax credit worth up to $7,500, complicating plans for the new plant, according to a report last week in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Hogan said Korean officials and business leaders have expressed concern about the law's impact. 

"I appreciate and share your priority to bring greater manufacturing capability and supply chain stability to the United States' domestic market," Hogan wrote. "However, I am troubled by your administration's decision to double down on trade policies favored by former President Trump that threaten American jobs and ultimately raise prices for American consumers."

He said America should be encouraging more foreign manufacturers to build facilities in the U.S. and argued this policy would go against Biden's goals of creating more affordable consumer goods and reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels.

"The protectionist provisions in the IRA jeopardizes both of these priorities," Hogan wrote. "Excluding Korean and other leading manufacturers from competitive pricing for vehicles and their component parts will drive up prices for Americans and make electric vehicles out of reach for many working families, delaying your stated goal of moving toward reducing emission."

Electric vehicles accounted for 5.6% of all vehicle sales in 2022, up from 2.7% last year, according to auto pricing guide Kelley Blue Book.

The top four models are made by American companies, and assembly of the fifth, the Volkswagen ID.4, started in July at a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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