Ford Motor Company and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) are planning a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.
The plant, celebrated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), will be owned by Ford through a subsidiary while collaborating with CATL — China’s premier electric vehicle battery supplier. Ford hopes to open the plant in 2026 and employ some 2,500 workers who will produce less pricey lithium iron phosphate batteries.
In addition to licensing technology from CATL, the Chinese company will also provide a number of workers at the plant.
As Breitbart News Editor Frances Martel has noted, CATL has enjoyed contracts with automakers like Tesla, BMW, and Honda thanks to immense support from the Chinese Communist Party. The company has also been accused of using slave labor:
CATL is the world’s largest electric vehicle battery supplier and a primary supplier to manufacturers such as Tesla, BMW, and Honda. It is not officially a state-owned company but, under communism, private property does not exist in practice, and CATL came to dominate the electric vehicle battery industry thanks to the extensive support and involvement of the Chinese Communist Party. [Emphasis added]
In addition to heavy subsidies from Beijing, CATL has also faced accusations of human rights abuses common among Chinese regime-tied companies, such as potentially using Uyghur slaves in its supply chain and potentially purchasing cobalt and other key metals mined by child slaves in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [Emphasis added]
Most significantly, Ford is hoping to score federal subsidies for the electric vehicle batteries produced at the Marshall plant despite CATL’s involvement in the venture.
Ford executives said they believe their electric vehicle batteries produced at the plant will qualify for half of the $7,500 federal tax credits that were authorized by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. For automakers to qualify for the full tax credit, no parts or materials can be produced in China.
Ford’s announcement comes as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) blasted the venture and ultimately pulled the state out of consideration for the electric vehicle battery plant.
“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 said.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.