December 16, 2021: Battery Council International has backed the USA Batteries Act, introduced on December 9 by US representatives, to remove excise taxes on substances used in lead battery manufacturing.
The move follows president Joe Biden on November 15 signing into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which levied taxes on domestically produced lead oxide, antimony and sulfuric acid. This gave foreign producers an advantage over US ones because they are exempt from paying the tax. The Infrastructure Act reinstated a Superfund Chemical fee on 42 substances in total, at twice the previous tax rates.
The USA Batteries Act was introduced by Republican representatives Dan Meuser, John Moolenaar, Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, and aims to remove the tax for domestic producers.
“This tax hike on American battery manufacturers reduces America’s competitiveness and kills good manufacturing jobs,” said Meuser. “At a time when small businesses are reeling from supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, and higher prices, this new and unnecessary tax would be detrimental to the industry.
“Repealing this tax ensures this industry can continue to thrive without facing stiffened competition from foreign producers who have a competitive advantage because they aren’t subject to the tax.”
“The USA Batteries Act will eliminate a tax that gives foreign manufacturers an unfair advantage on the cost of raw materials, and undermines the purpose of the infrastructure bill which was created to support domestic manufacturing,” said Roger Miksad, Battery Council International executive vice president and general counsel.
“If the tax is allowed to stand it will negatively impact the 25,000 American workers who make and recycle lead batteries and take pride in the fact that their product is the most recycled consumer product in the US.”
BCI says the lead battery industry invested $100 million in research and development in 2019.
It expects the energy storage market to grow from 360GWh in 2020 to 430GWh by 2030.