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ICYMI: Rubio: Electric Vehicles Are Trojan Horse for China
Democrats, Corporations Make “Made in America” a Trojan Horse for China
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
February 28, 2023
“Made in America. I mean it.” Those are strong words, and they would be admirable if they were true. Unfortunately, they’re just a talking point for President Joe Biden and many of our nation’s corporations…. Just look at the U.S. Department of Transportation, which waived federal regulations to permit the purchase of Chinese-made electric vehicle chargers….
Meanwhile, Ford is building a plant in Marshall, Michigan, using “‘knowledge’ and services” from…Beijing’s champion battery maker [CATL]. Ford’s massive project will bring 2,500 new jobs to Marshall’s small, historic farming community, but it will also bring America’s greatest geopolitical adversary into the heartland.
When we talk about domestic manufacturing, we do it for three reasons. The most obvious is that we need to bring good jobs back to America…. But the second reason we talk about domestic manufacturing is that we need to build our own technological capacity—and keep it here….
Electric car battery manufacturing is a perfect example. The technology Ford seeks to use was invented on this side of the Pacific [by A123]. But…[w]hen a Chinese conglomerate swept in to buy A123 at a bargain price, the Obama administration gave the transaction its explicit blessing. A decade later, the result is clear: Chinese domination of the industry.
Even that misses the third piece of the puzzle, however, which is that there are huge security risks to using Chinese technology. That was certainly the case with Huawei and the Belt and Road Initiative…. Should we not expect the same costs from working alongside CATL, the CEO of which is a high-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party’s “United Front”?
We cannot afford to be so naïve. That is why I have demanded a commitment from the Biden administration that no tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act will go to Chinese companies—directly or indirectly. And it’s why I asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to review the licensing agreement signed by Ford.
We also need to apply greater scrutiny to companies, like Tesla and Volkswagen, that manufacture in China. These same companies source critical minerals from Chinese-run mines in the Congo, where children are trafficked and exploited as slave laborers….
Unfortunately, [Democrats and corporations] care more about their image as climate warriors than about strengthening the U.S…. [A]t least as far as electric vehicles are concerned, they have turned “Made in America” into another Trojan horse that Beijing will use to threaten, divide, and outcompete the U.S.
Read the rest here.