Republican lawmakers in the US are piling pressure on Ford Motor Company over its use of Chinese batteries. The chairs of two US House committees have asked the Biden administration to investigate four Chinese companies they said are involved in Ford’s planned Michigan battery plant.
The letter, reported by Reuters, claimed the four Chinese companies have direct ties to the Chinese military, Chinese Communist Party, North Korean government and alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. The letter seen did not reveal the four names.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, chair of the select committee on China, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, urged the Commerce Department to investigate.
They also want to know what due diligence Ford conducted before and after it entered into agreements with CATL.
They called for export restrictions on four Chinese companies they said were involved in the facility’s design, construction, and information technology (IT) processes.
Ford said its suppliers are required to meet its higher standards, including protecting human rights. They are obligated to extend those requirements to any suppliers of their own.
When first elected chair of the China select committee in December 2022, Gallagher declared he wanted to end economic dependency on China and the Chinese Communist Party’s “theft of American personal data and intellectual property”.
In December, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 prohibiting the Department of Defense from buying batteries from the following named Chinese companies:
- Envision Energy
- EVE Energy
- Gotion High tech Company
- Hithium Energy Storage Technology
- any successor of the above.
BEST approached CATL and all the above companies for comment.
Photo: Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company