Twenty-six Republican members from the House Energy and Commerce Committee have initiated a probe into the Ford Motor Company’s recent alliance with China’s battery producers.
The letter read, “Although Ford champions this endeavor as a ‘dedication to American manufacturing’ promising 2,500 American jobs, we are apprehensive. The partnership with a Chinese entity may inadvertently aid China’s aspirations to dominate the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain and intensify our reliance on them, thereby compromising our national security.”
The Republicans conveyed their apprehensions: “We aim to understand if this and similar collaborations might augment our dependence on China. If China establishes dominance over U.S. electric vehicle production, we could be vulnerable during rising geopolitical frictions.”
Earlier this year, Ford unveiled its $3.5 billion investment plan for a lithium iron phosphate battery facility in Marshall, Michigan, promising 2,500 new positions. The deal with CATL, as mentioned by the American carmaker, will see the battery cells produced at this plant using CATL’s expertise.
A separate report highlighted that despite not being state-owned, CATL has received investments from individuals linked to the CCP. Over the past decade, the Chinese administration has also amplified support for CATL and other electric vehicle firms within China.
National security specialists and ex-State Department authorities have raised red flags, suggesting the Ford-CATL collaboration might be China’s ploy to benefit from Inflation Reduction tax incentives by collaborating with U.S. corporations.
The Energy and Commerce Republicans noted in their recent letter, “Records show Chinese firms often deploying their workforce for projects in regions like Latin America and Africa. This heightens our concerns about CATL potentially bringing in workers from China instead of providing employment opportunities for local U.S. citizens.”
Wrapping up their communication, the Republicans demanded detailed documentation of the Ford-CATL agreement, interactions between Ford and official entities regarding the proposed establishment, and answers detailing CATL’s dominance over the facility’s operations.
Following these concerns, Melissa Miller, Ford’s spokesperson, stated to Fox News Digital, “Upon officially receiving the letter, we’ll provide a clarifying response. To set the record straight: The Michigan battery facility is solely Ford’s initiative. We chose this over establishing a battery factory abroad or purchasing these batteries from China, as some competitors opt for.”