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Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin said during an interview over the weekend that communist China was attempting to use a “trojan horse” to gain access to U.S. taxpayer benefits.
Youngkin made the remarks on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo while discussing his decision to reject a multi-billion dollar electric car factory from Ford coming to his state because of the company’s connections to China.
Youngkin said the plant would have been operated by China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology and would have been a “trojan horse structure to gain access to taxpayer incentives” legislation that Democrats passed which gives credits to consumers for purchasing electric vehicles.
“This is using taxpayer money to further enrich a Chinese company at the expense of America. It’s just not happening in Virginia,” Youngkin said. “This should be an American supply chain that’s trusted, not one that’s outsourced to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Youngkin rejected Ford’s $3.5 billion push for the factory last month. The plant, which was under consideration for Pittsylvania County in the southwestern part of Old Dominion, would have made lithium iron phosphate batteries for electric vehicles and employed as many as 2,500 workers.
“The consortium of Ford and CATL were hoping to build a plant, as reported and confirmed by Ford, where Ford would build the building, but a company that is majorly influenced by the Chinese Communist Party was going to operate the plant, and the employees were going to work for the Chinese Communist Party controlled company,” Youngkin said last month. “They were going to use that in order to try to tap into taxpayer benefits at state level as well as the federal level that were specifically designated for non-Chinese communist party entities.” Youngkin told reporters he was uncomfortable with a CCP-connected company benefiting from Virginia tax dollars, adding that he felt the deal’s structure was “a bit deceptive.”
Democratic state lawmakers blasted Youngkin for spurning the deal and accused the first-term governor of bashing China to further his White House ambitions. Youngkin has not indicated he is contemplating a 2024 White House bid, but his stunning 2021 victory in the key blue state drew national attention.
“To deny [people in the community] jobs because you’re in last place in Republican presidential primaries [is] gubernatorial malpractice,” state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I mean, this is clearly just obvious to me that the governor’s in some kind of out-China-bashing-contest with [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis and Governor Greg Abbott out of Texas.”
Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said Ford’s partner is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and was not welcome in the state.
“While Ford is an iconic American company, it became clear that this proposal would serve as a front for the Chinese Communist party, which could compromise our economic security and Virginians’ personal privacy,” Porter told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Virginians can be confident that companies with known ties to the Chinese Communist Party won’t receive a leg up from the Commonwealth’s economic incentive packages. When the potentially damaging effects of the deal were realized, the plant proposal never reached a final discussion stage.”
Ford is now believed to be considering building the plant in Michigan.