For much of the past decade, when the world’s biggest auto makers needed political help in Washington, they turned to one person: Mitch Bainwol. As CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers from 2011 until 2019, Bainwol was the chief advocate in Washington for the interests of carmakers from the US, Europe and Japan. He later served as chief government relations officer for Ford Motor Co. There, he advised the company on state site selection for its EV manufacturing and brokered a landmark deal with California over climate-change policy that triggered threats of an antitrust investigation by the Trump administration.
Now a Brunswick senior advisor for Regulation & Public Affairs, Bainwol sat down with Brunswick Partner and Head of US Energy & Resources Group Stephen Power and Director Stephanie Heise to discuss what he learned from those experiences; how he thinks the giant climate and tax legislation signed into law by President Biden will change American politics; and why the rise of China’s electric vehicle (EV) industry poses a challenge not just to American carmakers but the US economic model.