Marco Rubio takes aim at planned Michigan Ford battery plant using Chinese tech

Marco Rubio takes aim at planned Michigan Ford battery plant using Chinese tech

US Senator Marco Rubio on Thursday introduced legislation targeting Ford Motor’s deal to use technology from Chinese battery company CATL as part of the automaker’s plan to spend $3.5 billion to build a battery plant in Michigan .

Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, introduced legislation that would block tax credits for electric vehicle batteries produced using Chinese technology, saying it would “significantly limit eligibility for the IRA tax credit and prevent Chinese companies from will prevent from being benefitted.”

Ford responded to Rubio by saying that “making those batteries here at home is much better than relying exclusively on foreign imports, as other auto companies do.” Will build, own and operate. No other entity. US tax dollars will be provided for this project.”

Last month, Rubio asked the Biden administration to review Ford’s deal to use CATL’s technology.

Rubio called for an immediate Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the licensing agreement between Ford and CATL.

Rubio said the deal “will only deepen US dependence on the Chinese Communist Party for battery technology, and is likely designed to make the factory eligible for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits.”

CFIUS is a US Treasury-led interagency panel that reviews proposed transactions to ensure they do not harm national security.

The Treasury declined to comment, but Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said last month that the Ford deal “will bring advanced manufacturing capabilities from overseas to the United States, is critical to our competitiveness, will stimulate our economy, and will pay well.” Will create American jobs.”

Ford has said the plant will create 2,500 jobs and begin recharging low-cost and rapid lithium-iron-phosphate batteries in 2026.

The $430 billion IRA bans battery sourcing and is designed to move the United States away from the Chinese supply chain for electric vehicles. The IRA would eventually block the credit if any EV battery components were manufactured by a “foreign entity of concern” in a provision aimed at China.

Separately, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin criticized comments by a White House adviser that Chinese companies would be a “big player” in increasing domestic energy production.

“It is irresponsible for someone speaking on behalf of the White House to not only condemn but also advocate sending American tax dollars to Chinese companies,” Manchin said.

(Reporting by David Shepperson; Editing by Lincoln Feist and Diane Craft)

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