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Biden Vetoes Republican Attempt to Reverse “Buy America” Waiver for EV Chargers

President Biden has vetoed an attempt by the Republicans in Congress to reverse a “Buy America” waiver he granted for materials used in EV chargers.

The Build America, Buy America Act requires “all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials permanently installed on federally assisted infrastructure projects to be produced in the United States.”

However, the Biden administration has granted waivers to certain projects, including EV chargers. For chargers, the federal government only requires that they be assembled locally.

Republicans have argued that this waiver harms the U.S. steel and iron industry and earlier this month voted against the waiver on the House and the Senate, winning support from several Democrats as well.

The federal government, on the other hand, has argued that the waiver is positive for industry workers because the chargers would be assembled in the United States. The White House said that the Republican bill to repeal the waiver would affect domestic manufacturing negatively as it would remove the requirement that chargers be made in the U.S.

"This resolution would harm my Administration's efforts to encourage investment in critical industries and bring high-quality jobs back to the United States," President Biden said in his veto statement, as quoted by Reuters.

He added that this bill would also "delay the significant progress being made by my Administration and the States in establishing the EV charging network."

The administration has allocated $7.5 billion for EV charger infrastructure in its Inflation Reduction Act. That infrastructure is vital for the wider adoption of electric vehicles in line with the federal government’s energy transition plans.

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However, growing demand for iron and steel from the EV charger-making sector has tightened the availability of materials, threatening production targets, Reuters notes in its report, citing industry insiders and state governments. This tighter supply, in turn, has made it hard to stick to the Buy America requirements, the report also said.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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