One of the first things you learn about in an economics course is the concept of trade-offs: You can’t have everything you want. This is relevant in the debate about electric vehicles. U.S. auto workers want to keep their jobs. Most U.S. drivers still prefer cars with internal combustion engines. Environmentalists want Americans to buy EVs. And free traders want, well, free trade. Something’s got to give.

Or does it? There’s a path that would enable each party to achieve many of its objectives. First, end mandates and subsidies for EVs. Second, eliminate President Biden’s 100% tariff on EVs from China and allow duty-free imports. Free trade would give lower- and middle-income Americans the chance to buy relatively cheap imported EVs. More people driving EVs would make environmentalists happy. And ending mandates and subsidies would allow U.S. automakers to do what they do best: make cars with internal combustion engines. That in turn would keep U.S. auto workers employed and able to continue using their specific skills.

This is from David R. Henderson, “How Electric Vehicles Can Make Everyone Happy,” Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2024.

I’ll post the whole thing when 30 days are up.