“If we’re going to spend $5 billion of taxpayer money to build electric vehicle charging stations in the United States, it should be made by Americans, in America, using American products,” the resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), said on the Senate floor.
Several Democrats, on the other hand, argued that overturning the rule would mean the EV charger sourcing requirements revert back to a blanket waiver from 1983 that would mean fewer prohibitions against foreign-made products.
“If you eliminate this rule, as the Rubio resolution would do, it would remove all Buy America restrictions for EV charger purchases, allowing federal taxpayer dollars to buy chargers from China,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said on the floor.
The United Steelworkers and the White House made the same argument against the measure.
“If enacted, S.J. Res. 38 would weaken Buy America requirements by reverting to FHWA’s general waiver for manufactured products, allowing federal dollars — including $7.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — to be spent on chargers made in competitor nations like the People’s Republic of China,” the White House said a statement of administration policy.