Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) slammed Ford on Friday for partnering with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to build batteries for its electric vehicles, saying that he was “totally opposed” to U.S. taxpayer money going to the company through the electric vehicle subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Manchin, who is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has advocated for boosting domestic production of the batteries used in electric vehicles, adamantly said he did not want taxpayer money going to a Chinese company.
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them $900 out of $7,500, to let it go to China for basically a product we started,” said Manchin. “You’re telling me we don’t have the smart people and the technology, and we can’t get up to speed quick enough? That doesn’t make sense.”
According to Reuters, a Ford spokesperson responded by saying, “Making these batteries here at home is much better than continuing to rely exclusively on foreign imports, like other auto companies do.”
The report noted that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation late this week that will block tax credits going to companies that partner with Chinese entities.
The news comes as the struggling auto brand lost billions of dollars last year under the leadership of CEO Jim Farley in part because of bad investments and poor vehicle quality which has led to expensive recalls, according to a report from The New York Times.
Ford’s deal with the Chinese company CATL comes after Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin removed his state from a plan to attract the automaker specifically because of its connection to the Chinese company.
“I look forward to bringing a great company there,” Youngkin, a highly successful businessman, said in an interview last month. “It won’t be one that uses kind of a Trojan-horse relationship with the Chinese Communist Party in order to gain.”
Ford’s plan is to collaborate with CATL on the $3.5 billion battery plant that is expected to open in 2026 and employ a few thousand people. The company will try to save money by making batteries out of less expensive materials.
The news generated criticism and threats of congressional investigations into the company over its relationship to communist China.
“Woke companies that lecture Americans about the equity agenda are always, without fail, in bed with the Chinese communists,” tweeted political strategist Arthur Schwartz. “@Ford to move forward with $3.5 billion EV battery plant with Chinese partner.”
A source close to House Republican leadership told The Daily Wire: “The closer Ford gets to the Chinese communists the closer we’re going to look at their business.”
“We’re quickly approaching the point where Ford’s business practices are becoming a national security threat,” the source added.
A Michigan Republican strategist signaled that GOP lawmakers in the state need to be prepared to deny Ford tax incentives because of the negative impact that doing business with communist China will bring to the state.
“Ford is seeking close to a billion dollars in tax incentives from the State of Michigan,” the strategist said. “That’s a billion dollars that will directly benefit the Chinese Communist Party. Republican lawmakers in Michigan should understand that this is an issue that will get national attention.”