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According to a Reuters report, a letter on January 30 indicates that chairs of two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives have requested the Biden administration to investigate four Chinese companies allegedly involved in Ford’s plan for a battery plant in Michigan.

The plant has faced criticism from U.S. lawmakers for its use of technology provided by CATL. Mike Gallagher, chair of the U.S. “Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party,” and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, urge the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate and impose export restrictions on these four Chinese companies, whom they believe were involved in “factory design, construction, and information technology processes.”

The letter obtained by Reuters did not mention the names of these Chinese companies, as the committee reviewed confidential records submitted by Ford, and the sensitive information does not permit the public disclosure of these companies’ identities.

On January 29, Ford stated that the company complies with “all government regulations in our business” and added, “Ford’s suppliers must meet our higher standards, including human rights protections, and are obligated to extend these requirements to suppliers with whom they may work.”

Earlier this month, as reported by Bloomberg and Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao on January 20, U.S. Congress banned the Pentagon from purchasing batteries produced by six Chinese companies, including CATL and BYD. The reports claim that this is part of the U.S. Congress’s efforts to further decouple the Pentagon’s supply chain from China.

In September 2023, two lawmakers requested Ford to provide documents related to its collaboration with CATL and threatened to subpoena Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, to testify before Congress. Over the past few months, Republican lawmakers in the U.S. have been investigating Ford’s battery plant plan, expressing concerns that the plan could channel U.S. tax subsidies to China and make Ford reliant on Chinese technology. Ford, on the other hand, stated that the battery plant is “wholly owned and operated” by Ford Motor Company.

Earlier, in November 2023, Ford significantly scaled back its investment and capacity, initially planning to invest $3.5 billion (US) in the plant, but now expecting to invest $2 billion (US) in the battery plant.

Source: WeChat Official Account—起点锂电

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