Weeks after announcing a deal to build EV batteries on the west side of Michigan with Chinese battery maker CATL, Ford Motor Co. is the subject of new legislation from Republican Senator Marco Rubio that would make the resulting vehicles ineligible for EV tax credits.
The $3.5 billion plan aims to build a plant would add 2,500 new jobs to produce lithium-ion-phosphate batteries that cost less and recharge faster. However, the Rubio’s bill, if passed, would block the credits because the batteries would be produced using Chinese technology.
“Hard-working Americans should not be forced to subsidize Chinese companies that make batteries for electric vehicles that cost more than most people make in a year,” Rubio said in a release about bill, dubbed the Restricting Electric Vehicle Outlays from Kleptomaniac Enemies (REVOKE) Act of 2023.
According to Reuters, Ford said in response that “making those batteries here at home is much better than continuing to rely exclusively on foreign imports, like other auto companies do. A wholly owned Ford subsidiary alone will build, own and operate this plant. No other entity will get U.S. tax dollars for this project.”
Follow the money
Last month, Rubio asked the Biden administration to review Ford’s deal to use technology from CATL. He sent a letter to the Treasury, Energy and Transportation departments seeking assurances that no taxpayer subsidies would go to Chinese recipients, specifically Ford’s deal with CATL.
“I am alarmed at Ford’s plan to establish a large, Michigan-based factory, structured as a wholly owned subsidiary that licenses its technology from CATL,” he wrote in the letter. “As such, I write to request a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review of the licensing agreement, as well as demand that no federal funds — especially monies or tax credits granted via the Inflation Reduction Act (P.L. 117-169) — go to enrich PRC national champion CATL, or any other Beijing-supported company, directly or indirectly.”
Rubio says he’s heard nothing back from the Biden administration. Reuters noted the Treasury Department declined to comment on the matter. However, last month Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Ford deal will bring “advanced manufacturing capabilities from overseas to the United States is key to our competitiveness, will stimulate our economy, and create good-paying American jobs.”
One response to “Ford in Republican Crosshairs for Chinese Battery Partnership”
This is what the world has come to? Legislation intended to target an American company making batteries in America and creating American jobs? So what if the technology was invented by the Chinese? Are we really that petty? I guess we know the answer when it comes to Marco Rubio.