Republicans Urge Cancellation of Ford’s Partnership with Chinese EV Battery Maker CATL
The emerging partnership between Ford Motor Company and China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) for a $3 billion battery plant in Marshall, Michigan is under intense scrutiny. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and House Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), have raised serious concerns about Ford’s collaboration with CATL and its affiliations with four Chinese information technology suppliers allegedly tied to the Chinese military, the North Korean government, and China’s Ministry of Public Security.
Gallagher and Rogers have sent letters to key figures in the Biden administration, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging them to blacklist these companies. They also requested Ford CEO Jim Farley to testify before Congress. Their concerns are not unfounded, as Ford’s agreements with CATL reportedly involve adopting IT tools and applications from these questionable Chinese suppliers.
This situation is more than a business deal; it’s a matter of national security. The congressmembers’ letters reveal a troubling possibility: these Chinese companies could be involved in North Korean sanctions evasion and support of the Xinjiang genocide. It’s alarming that a renowned American company like Ford might contribute to such activities. This is not just a potential cybersecurity hazard but a moral and ethical dilemma. The possibility of these Chinese firms embedding spyware or malware in Ford’s IT infrastructure cannot be overlooked.
Former U.S. ambassadors Joseph Cella and Peter Hoekstra have also weighed in, calling for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) to cancel the Ford-CATL deal, highlighting the lack of due diligence and potential threats to national security. This move by Cella and Hoekstra is a clarion call to reassess the deal and ensure that America’s interests are not compromised.
Moreover, this scenario sheds light on the broader issue of American companies engaging with foreign entities with troubling ties. The Ford-CATL partnership exemplifies the need for thorough vetting processes and transparency in such deals, particularly when national security is at stake. It is crucial for our government and corporations to align their strategies with the values and security interests of the United States.
The warnings of Gallagher, Rogers, Cella, and Hoekstra should be heeded, and the Ford-CATL deal should be canceled. As Americans, we must ensure that our economic pursuits do not undermine our nation’s security or moral standing. It’s high time for Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to reconsider this deal and for the legislature to introduce measures to prevent such risky alliances in the future. Our national security and moral integrity are non-negotiable.