The decade's most triggering comedy
Republicans from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to Ford CEO James Farley on September 1 requesting information on the company’s relationship with Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL). The partnership, made in February, garnered criticism from some lawmakers who pointed to national security concerns.
“While Ford has labeled this project a ‘commitment to American manufacturing’ and asserts it will create 2,500 new American jobs, we are concerned that Ford’s partnership with a Chinese company could aid China’s efforts to expand its control over United States electric vehicle supply chains and jeopardize national security by furthering dependence on China,” the letter said.
The letter referenced a move by Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin to scuttle a similar potential partnership between Ford and CATL in his state before the Michigan partnership was announced.
“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,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told the Richmond Times-Dispatch at the time.
In the letter to Farley, Republicans referenced congressional testimony that said CATL could stop working on the project if tensions between the U.S. and China escalated, leaving the vehicle maker in a bind over how to source batteries for its vehicles. The lawmakers also questioned who would be employed at the plant currently under construction in Marshall, Michigan.
“Additionally, Members learned at this hearing that Chinese companies often supply their own workers to projects in Latin America and Africa, reinforcing fears that CATL will import workers for this facility rather than creating jobs for United States workers,” the letter said.
The GOP lawmakers requested a copy of the licensing agreement between Ford and CATL, along with communications from Ford discussing federal incentives for the project.
“We seek to learn more about whether this partnership, and others like it, will potentially exacerbate our reliance on China. Should China gain control of domestic electric vehicle production, the United States would be exposed to serious national security risks at a time of escalating geopolitical tensions,” the Republicans said.
Business relations between the U.S. and China have faced increased scrutiny in recent years over intellectual property theft and national security precautions as tensions with China remain high.