Biden Calls Chinese Electric Vehicles a Security Threat

Biden Calls Chinese Electric Vehicles a Security Threat
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The Treasury Department has already proposed rules meant to limit China’s ability to supply materials for cars and trucks that qualify for a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit included in Mr. Biden’s signature climate bill.

The Commerce Department investigation announced on Thursday grew from a series of conversations that administration officials had with automakers last fall, after the settlement of a United Automobile Workers strike during which Mr. Biden stood with the union and joined a picket line. The carmakers told administration officials about the restrictions they faced selling in China, including on software.

Biden aides began to grow concerned about what might happen if the United States did not impose similar restrictions on Chinese software, which administration officials say only a handful of cars in America run on today.

China is “flooding foreign markets with their autos,” Ms. Brainard said. “Many of those vehicles can connect on a continuous basis with our infrastructure potentially, with the drivers’ smartphones, with nearby cars. So they’re collecting a tremendous amount of information.”

In a briefing call with reporters, Gina M. Raimondo, the commerce secretary, said it was “scary to contemplate the cyberrisks, espionage risks, that these pose.”

Ms. Brainard stressed that Thursday’s action was limited to software concerns. But she added, “It’s also very important for our economic security and our national security to have a strong and vibrant U.S. auto industry, with U.S. autoworkers.”

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