Steve Gates,
Chairman » American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA)

There is a popular and apocryphal quote, attributed to Harry S. Truman, in which he advises that, “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.”

International dealers have never felt the truth in that statement as powerfully as we do now. Our friends in Washington are few and far between these days, as we seek protection against an un-American provision being shoe-horned into the Build Back Better bill to benefit the UAW. The provision would offer consumers a $4,500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle, but only if that vehicle was assembled in a union-represented plant.

The language is transparently a political payback from politicians to the unions who fund their campaigns. After all, a union-only tax credit doesn’t promote EV sales. It drastically limits EV choices for consumers and will slow the conversion to electric vehicles. It also doesn’t protect American workers. Today, 673,000 Americans are employed by non-unionized international nameplate manufacturers and dealers (not including Tesla and others). And it certainly doesn’t benefit taxpayers, whose money will go to subsidize a narrow sector of the American auto industry, concentrated in just a few Midwest states.

You would think a concept this unscrupulous would have been scratched by now. You would think that every Senator and Representative who has an international brand plant in their state or district would be shouting on the rooftops against this provision. And you’d be wrong.

Only a handful of brave lawmakers have stood up against the union-only tax credit. Recently included in that group is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, as well as my representative, Andy Barr (R-KY). If you also have legislator who’s taken a strong negative position on this provision – thank them! And congratulations on having a true friend in Washington.

If you don’t know where your Representative and Senators stand, now is a great time to contact them directly and ask what they’re doing to protect ALL American workers and the environment. Visit to send a letter, or a quick video, directly to your legislators. Friends or not, they answer to us, and they need to be prepared to defend their position on this damaging and crooked proposal.

In the meantime, feel free to get a dog. Or, simply rest assured that no matter what happens in the next few months, you will always have one steadfast friend in Washington, D.C. – AIADA. We will never waver, obfuscate, or hesitate when it comes to protecting your interests on Capitol Hill. We can’t be bought off by the UAW and we’re not going to stay silent to protect our political influence. For more than 50 years we’ve had one mission – to protect international nameplate dealers. We’re not afraid of any fight, and we won’t be sitting this one out.

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