Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are reportedly set to examine Ford’s partnership with Chinese battery firm CATL. According to Reuters, two separate House of Representatives committees might be trying into the $3.5 billion deal Ford made to construct a battery plant in Michigan utilizing expertise from CATL.
Jason Smith and Mike Gallagher, Republican chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Select Committee on China, wrote a joint letter that “demanded” Ford reply questions in regards to the deal with the world’s largest battery maker. The dynamic duo apparently warned that if the corporate is just too reliant on China for inputs to supply eclectic automobile batteries, “The company will be exposing itself and U.S. taxpayers to the whims of the Chinese Communist Party and its politics.”
Ford informed Reuters that it’s reviewing the letter and can reply. It insisted that it’ll personal and run the plant within the U.S. reasonably than construct it elsewhere, and it gained’t completely import lithium iron phosphatase batteries from China “like our competitors do.”
According to the outlet, the 2 committees assert that a number of hundred of the two,500 jobs on the plant might be stuffed by CATL workers from China who might be in command of establishing and sustaining the plant. The committees are additionally involved about CATL’s alleged former stake in an organization was a historical past of human rights points.
The letter stated public disclosures and media reporting recommend that shortly following the Ford and CATL partnership announcement, “CATL took steps to maintain effective control while appearing to divest its ownership stake” in firms primarily based in Xinjiang that allegedly are related to compelled labor practices.
Human rights teams accuse Beijing of abuses in opposition to Xinjiang’s Uyghur inhabitants, together with the mass use of compelled labor in internment camps. China denies the allegations.
Last 12 months, Congress handed President Joe Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act that can – sooner or later – disallow EV tax credit if any of the battery parts are manufactured or assembled by a “foreign entity of concern.” You know, like China. Unfortunately for Ford, the automaker is reportedly nonetheless ready for steerage from the U.S. Treasury as as to if or not its partnership with CATL works with this requirement.
“We are concerned that the deal could simply facilitate the partial onshoring of PRC-controlled battery technology, raw materials, and employees while collecting tax credits and flowing funds back to CATL through the licensing agreement,” the House letter reportedly stated.