A White House official says the US is open to discussions with Canada over proposed electric vehicle incentives

A senior White House official says the Biden administration is sympathetic to Canada’s concerns about the proposed electric car tax credit, but has offered no indication of a plan to abandon the idea.

“We love Canada here in the White House,” said Juan Gonzalez, special assistant to US President Joe Biden and senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere.

“We’re talking to Canadians about ensuring that we stay aligned and ensuring that our prosperity is also Canada’s prosperity…There is a commitment here to make sure we keep building things with Canada.”

Gonzalez said this during an interview with CBC power politics, which you can see at the top of this page.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers spent much of their trip to Washington this week trying to persuade lawmakers to drop a proposed discount that would only apply to electric vehicles manufactured in the United States.

The incentive can eventually be worth up to $12,500 per vehicle.

The proposal is part of a nearly $2 trillion social safety net and climate bill that the House of Representatives approved on Friday. The bill has yet to be passed by the Senate.

Canada says the stimulus will cause serious damage to the domestic auto industry and undermine decades of cross-border cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also said this week that the proposal would violate the new North American Free Trade Agreement. She said the incentive could become the “dominant” issue in the relationship between Canada and the United States.

Gonzalez noted that the bill has not yet been formally approved and that it is possible to hold further discussions on its contents.

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