Pence echoes Trump, links UAW strikes to Biden EV push: ‘Good for Beijing, bad for Detroit’

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Republican presidential candidate, former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on September 15, 2023 in Washington, DC.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the Biden administration Pay The electric vehicle trend was responsible for the historic United Auto Workers strikes underway at the Big Three automakers’ plants in Detroit.

“I guarantee you one of the reasons this strike happened is because Biden’s economics and his green-powered electric vehicle agenda are good for Beijing and bad for Detroit, and American auto workers know that,” Pence said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Pence, whose campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is struggling to gain support in opinion polls, said the strike is “a reflection of the failed economic policies of the Biden administration.”

“This trend toward electric cars, turning people away from gasoline-powered vehicles, and any car guy who cares will know that’s not in their long-term interest,” he said.

Pence’s position on the strikes reflects the position advanced by his former boss, former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner in the Republican Party nomination contest.

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About 12,700 UAW members went on strike last week at General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis assembly plants after the automakers and the union failed to reach an agreement on new labor contracts.

The main demands of the union are to get more and more faircompensation.

The UAW said Monday that it would announce additional strikes against the companies if the two sides did not make “meaningful progress” in negotiations by midday Friday.

Trump’s statements about the strike have largely focused on the rise of electric vehicles, which he claims will hurt American auto workers.

“Electric cars will automatically be made in China,” Trump said in an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press” broadcast on Sunday.

The Biden administration has taken steps to accelerate the auto industry’s transition toward electric vehicles as part of its climate agenda, intensifying a fight over gas versus electricity that was already a political wedge issue in the car-dependent United States.

Trump has criticized the UAW’s leadership, even as he pushed the union to endorse him.

He plans to take on next week’s Republican primary debate by traveling to Detroit to speak with current and former union members.

UAW President Sean Fine attacked Trump after the former president announced that plan.

“Every part of our union is poured into fighting the billionaire class and the economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of working people,” Fine said.

“We cannot continue to elect billionaires and millionaires who have no understanding of what it means to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expect them to solve the problems of the working class,” he said.

The Fine union has so far withheld its endorsement of Biden, a longtime supporter of labor unions, over concerns about the transition to electric vehicles.

This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com

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