Rubio wants to block Ford from tax breaks for using Chinese battery technology


U.S. Senator Marco Rubio introduced legislation Thursday that would take aim at Ford’s deal to use technology from Chinese battery company CATL as part of the automaker’s plan to spend $3.5 billion to build a battery plant in Michigan.

Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, introduced legislation that would block tax credits for electric vehicle batteries manufactured using Chinese technology, saying it would “significantly limit the eligibility of the IRA tax credit and will prevent Chinese companies from taking advantage.”

Ford responded to Rubio by saying that “making those batteries at home is much better than relying on foreign imports, as other auto companies do. A wholly owned subsidiary of Ford alone will build, own and operate the plant.” No other organization will receive US tax dollars for this project.

Last month, Rubio asked the Biden administration to review Ford’s deal to use technology from CATL.

Rubio called for an immediate Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review of the license agreement between Ford and CATL.

Rubio said the deal would “only deepen America’s dependence on the Chinese Communist Party for battery technology, and is likely designed to make the factory eligible for Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits.”

CFIUS is a US Treasury-led interagency panel that reviews proposed transactions to ensure they do not harm national security.

The Treasury declined to comment, but Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said last month that the Ford deal “will bring advanced manufacturing capabilities to the United States from overseas, is key to our competitiveness, will stimulate our economy, and will provide well-paid workers.” will create American jobs.”

Ford has said the plant will create 2,500 jobs and begin production of low-cost and fast-recharging lithium-iron-phosphate batteries in 2026.

The $430 billion IRA imposes restrictions on battery sourcing and is designed to distance the United States from the Chinese supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs). The IRA will eventually block the credit if any EV battery components were made by a “foreign entity of concern,” in a provision aimed at China.

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