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Lawmakers need US to probe 4 Chinese language companies concerned in Ford battery plant -letter By Reuters

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The chairs of two U.S. Home committees requested the Biden administration to analyze 4 Chinese language corporations they are saying are concerned in Ford Motor (NYSE:)’s deliberate Michigan battery plant, in line with a letter seen Monday by Reuters.

The beforehand unreported letter stated the 4 Chinese language corporations have direct ties to the Chinese language navy, Chinese language Communist Get together, North Korean authorities and alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang area.

The plant has drawn hearth from U.S. lawmakers for its use of expertise provided by Chinese language battery maker CATL. Consultant Mike Gallagher, who chairs the choose committee on China, and Consultant Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who chairs the Power and Commerce Committee, urged the Commerce Division to analyze and impose export restrictions on the 4 Chinese language corporations they stated had been concerned within the “facility’s design, development, and data expertise (IT) processes.”

The Chinese language corporations weren’t named within the letter seen by Reuters as a result of the committees reviewed confidential data turned over by Ford and weren’t allowed to make their identities public.

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Ford stated Monday it follows “all authorities laws throughout our enterprise” and added: “Ford suppliers are required to satisfy our greater requirements, together with for shielding human rights, and obligated to increase these necessities to suppliers with whom they may work.”

In September, the 2 lawmakers demanded paperwork from Ford tied to its CATL partnership and threatened to name CEO Jim Farley to testify earlier than Congress.

Republicans have been probing Ford’s battery plant plan for months over considerations it might facilitate the circulation of U.S. tax subsidies to China and depart Ford depending on Chinese language expertise. Ford says the battery plant is “wholly owned and operated” by the automaker.

The lawmakers stated a Ford-CATL settlement places a Beijing-based firm in command of getting ready “the idea design” for the Michigan battery plant. The committee stated the identical Chinese language firm is offering engineering design companies to China’s navy.

The lawmakers individually wrote the Treasury and State Departments asking them to analyze attainable sanctions evasion exercise by one of many Chinese language corporations that they stated can be offering IT instruments for the Michigan battery plant that has ties to North Korea.

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“It’s indefensible for Ford to make use of the identical cloud integration and knowledge supplier that’s linked to North Korean Ministry of Overseas Affairs sanctions evasion exercise,” the letter stated.

Human rights teams accuse Beijing of abuses in opposition to Xinjiang’s Uyghur inhabitants, together with the mass use of compelled labor in internment camps. China denies the allegations.

Ford in November dramatically scaled again its funding and capability for the Michigan plant after it paused work two months earlier. Ford initially deliberate a $3.5 billion plant however now expects to speculate $2 billion in its battery plant.

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