Democrat Governor Lashes Out at Critics of Chinese-Linked Deal
Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is facing criticism in the wake of his closed-door deal with Gotion Inc., an electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Pritzker blasted critics of the deal and is emphasizing its potential economic benefits and job creation. The controversy centers around Gotion Inc.’s plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Illinois, which is expected to create around 2,600 jobs.
In a letter to Republican state Senate Minority Leader John Curran and other GOP state lawmakers, Pritzker accused his critics of resorting to xenophobia and pursuing political gain. He characterized their questions as unserious and political grandstanding, emphasizing that he is focused on governing and attracting investments to the state.
Pritzker’s letter was in response to one written by Republican state senators. Their letter to Pritzker listed questions about the deal and raised national security concerns. They also referenced an ongoing probe into Gotion by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.
The senators sought assurances that the Chinese military would not receive batteries manufactured at the proposed plant and asked about the possibility of job outsourcing. They emphasized the need to prioritize national security and make wise investments with taxpayer dollars.
Opponents of the project in Michigan have pointed to Gotion High-Tech’s corporate bylaws, which state that the company is required to “carry out Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.” These concerns have led to increased scrutiny of Gotion’s activities in the United States.
Critics argue that Pritzker is prioritizing economic wins over national security and that he should reconsider the deal with Gotion. Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Cella, co-founder of the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, has warned about the risks associated with CCP-linked projects in the U.S. He believes that such projects represent an attempted Chinese “incursion” into America and emphasizes the importance of addressing national security concerns.
Overall, the controversy surrounding Governor Pritzker’s deal with Gotion Inc. highlights the complex challenges associated with foreign investments and potential national security risks. Critics argue that the governor should prioritize national security over economic gains, while Pritzker defends the deal’s potential benefits for the state of Illinois. The debate underscores the importance of thoroughly assessing and scrutinizing foreign investments in sensitive industries and areas.