Ford Under Fire for Agreement With Chinese Battery Maker

( – One of America’s oldest car companies is under fire after signing a deal with a Chinese company. Ford has a licensing agreement with the world’s largest maker of electric vehicle (EV) batteries — but some Republican lawmakers are worried it’s a national security risk.

In February, Ford announced it’s building a new battery factory in Marshall, Michigan, to produce batteries for its growing range of EVs. The $3.5 billion dollar facility will make lithium-iron-phosphate cells, which are cheaper than the more common nickel-cobalt-manganese ones but store less energy.

Ford is providing the money for the factory — but the battery technology, and some of the machines and workers, will be supplied by Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL), which is based in Fujian, China. Ford hopes the new factory will earn Inflation Reduction Act credits, helping to offset the cost.

The deal first made the news in January, when Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) blocked his state from bidding for the factory because of fears it would be exploited by China. Ford disclosed the Michigan deal on February 13, and since then GOP legislators have been growing increasingly worried about it.

In July, representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Jason Smith (R-MO) wrote to Ford asking for details of the agreement. Now, Representative Cathy McMorris (R-WA), the chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, has written a letter to Ford CEO James Farley, asking for a copy of it. Dozens of her Republican House colleagues have co-signed.

Ford insists it’s just licensing the technology and CATL won’t own any part of the plant, but the lawmakers fear the deal will make the US even more dangerously dependent on China, and tie our supply chains to the communist regime. Even Democrats are warning that private companies don’t really exist in China; they’re all tied to the Communist party to some extent — and that includes Ford’s new business partner.

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