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Canada rolls the dice and engages Congress on subsidies for zero-emission vehicles

By Roy Norton      

No U.S. legislator will decide their Build Back Better vote based on Canada’s interests. We have friends in Congress, but no permanent allies.

During a November trip to Washington, D.C., a Canadian delegation that including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, left, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and International Trade Minister Mary Ng met with members of the U.S. Congress to push their opposition to provisions in the Biden Build Back Better legislation. Photograph courtesy of Twitter/Mary_Ng

In early December, Canada mounted a “diplomatic blitz” on Capitol Hill, asking Congress to reject provisions of the Biden Build Back Better (BBB) legislation that violate provisions of the new NAFTA. There’s ample precedent for Canada engaging Congress when administrations—Democratic or Republican—disregard U.S. legal obligations or ignore the reality of our heavily integrated economies. This time, however, Canada’s “ask” is more complicated than usual. There’s a possibility that we will help secure an outcome that roils North America’s auto industry and undermines U.S. GHG reductions commitments.

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