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Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Protect American Autoworkers and Deter Offshoring

Senator Marco Rubio, along with Senators JD Vance and Eric Schmitt, is leading a group of Republicans in introducing the Putting American Automakers First Act. This legislation aims to prevent automakers from benefiting from federal incentives if they offshore domestic manufacturing.

If passed, it would prohibit automakers from participating in 12 federal incentive programs for 10 years if they offshore production, manufacturing, or final assembly of their products.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Rubio explained the motivation behind the bill, stating, “They can still undermine these deals by offshoring production to countries with cheaper labor. This legislation would create a strong incentive for automakers to keep jobs right here in America and allow workers to share in the profits that they helped create.”

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The bill targets programs such as the New Clean Vehicle Credit, Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit, Used Clean Vehicle Credit, Clean School Bus Program, and Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program. These programs help reduce the costs of electric vehicles (EV), which are typically more expensive than gas-powered alternatives.

For instance, the new clean vehicle credit allows Americans to save up to $7,500 on an EV. Cox Automotive data shows that, even with the credits, the average transaction price for electric cars is higher compared to gas-powered vehicles.

The legislation is a response to concerns about automakers moving production abroad after recent labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers. Republicans and experts have raised concerns about the potential costs of the agreements and challenges faced by the EV sector.

Photo Credits: DepositPhotos

JD Vance expressed his support for higher wages for UAW members but criticized the Biden administration’s focus on electric vehicles and their impact on gas prices.

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Both Ford and General Motors have projected significant costs associated with the UAW agreement. Ford estimates that it will spend $8.8 billion over the life of the contract, while General Motors expects costs of over $9 billion.

Additionally, automakers have struggled to see substantial returns on investment in the EV sector. Ford, for example, anticipates a $4.5 billion loss in its EV division for 2023 alone.

Rubio’s bill seeks to protect American autoworkers and ensure that jobs remain in the United States, rather than being offshored. By blocking automakers from federal incentives if they engage in offshoring, the legislation aims to incentivize companies to keep production within the country and support American workers.

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