WASHINGTON, D.C.: Toyota and Honda have sharply criticized a proposal in Congress that would provide a $4,500 tax incentive for the purchase of union-made electric vehicles in the United States.
Toyota described the Democratic proposal as discriminating "against American autoworkers based on their choice not to unionize."
The bill, to be voted on Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee, would boost Detroit's Big Three automakers, which have union-auto plants.
In a statement, Honda called the bill "unfair" and said it "discriminates among EVs made by hard-working American auto workers based simply on whether they belong to a union. ... The Honda production associates in Alabama, Indiana and Ohio who will build our EVs deserve fair and equal treatment by Congress."
The Democratic proposal would increase to $12,500 the maximum tax credit for electric vehicles, up from the current $7,500.
The tax credit is seen as assisting President Joe Biden in reaching his goal to ensure EVs comprise at least 50 percent of U.S. vehicle sales by 2030, while also strengthening American union jobs.
The bill would further create a new, smaller credit for used EVs of up to $2,500.
The United Auto Workers represent workers in GM, Ford, and Stellantis-Chrysler auto plants.
Foreign automakers operating in the United States, along with Tesla, do not have unions representing their workers.
Tesla autos would also be eligible for up to $8,000 in credits under the bill.
The tax credit "would go a long way in supporting-good paying union jobs in (the) EV auto sector that President Biden has championed," commented UAW President Ray Curry, as quoted by Reuters.
Qualifying autos must be priced at no higher than $55,000, while trucks could be listed at up to $74,000.
Toyota, however, said it will "fight to focus taxpayer dollars on making all electrified vehicles accessible for American consumers who can't afford high-priced cars and trucks."