US Sen Joe Manchin opposes Ford partnership with Chinese battery maker

HOUSTON :U.S. Senator Joe Manchin on Friday said he opposed allowing tax dollars that finance electric vehicle purchases to go to Chinese battery maker CATL through its partnership with U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co.

A 12 per cent royalty that is included in the Ford-CATL partership would send $900 of the $7,500 tax credit to CATL , Manchin said in remarks at the CERAWeek energy conference.

The U.S. should not be assisting Chinese companies through its Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds designed to develop a domestic EV battery industry, he said. CATL’s advanced and low-cost batteries could be reverse-engineered, he said, arguing the technology may have originated in the U.S.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them $900 out of $7,500, to let it go to China for basically a product we started,” Manchin said.

It was the first time that Manchin raised an objection to the Ford-CATL agreement. He did not say whether he would seek to prevent Ford from accessing IRA funding for its battery development operations.

Ford’s agreement was CATL is part of the U.S. automaker’s stated intend to increase its annual EV production rate to 600,000 vehicles by late 2023 and more than 2 million by the end of 2026.

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