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Rubio Demands Action on Ford’s Venture Threatening National Security

May 3, 2023 | Press Releases

Ford Motor Company recently announced a joint venture with China-based Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company and Vale, an Indonesian subsidiary of a Brazil-based mining conglomerate. The venture is a “flagship project” under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Ford does not have a majority stake in the venture, putting the company at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent multiple letters to the Biden Administration requesting investigations into the joint venture between Ford, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company, and Vale, and the impacts it has on our national security and economic competitiveness.

In his letter to Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Troy Miller:

  • “Given Ford’s joint venture with Huayou, a company responsible for the trafficking, exploitation, and enslavement of children, I respectfully request an investigation into whether Ford’s joint venture will result in imported goods made in whole or in part with forced labor or child labor.  I urge you to impose an immediate WRO on these goods if you determine that forced labor has been utilized in their production.”

In his letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland:

  • “In light of Ford’s explicit complicity in the BRI, one of Beijing’s principle geopolitical strategies, I fear there may be individuals within the executive leadership of Ford who are subservient to the CCP and acting as unregistered foreign agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in their meetings and outreach to U.S. government officials. I urge the U.S. Department of Justice to determine if this is the case and to take appropriate legal action against those who are in violation of FARA.” 

In his letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler:

  • “Chinese law requires that the first obligation of any Chinese company is to the CCP, not to its investors. Ford’s joint venture with Huayou and PT Vale is thus subject to considerable disruption by the political whims of the CCP. … Because Ford willingly exposes itself to risk in pursuit of Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions, I ask the SEC to launch an investigation to determine if it sufficiently fulfilled its fiduciary obligations in compliance with U.S. law.

In his letter to Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo:

  • “You both have stated your openness to establishing an outbound investment screening and review mechanism similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to crack down on American financial investments that support malignant foreign ventures. I hope you will work to expeditiously implement such a policy mechanism to hold Ford accountable for cooperating with human traffickers and slavers in advancing the PRC’s geopolitical strategy, to the detriment of American economic development and national security.”

In his letter to Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken:

  • “In remarks published on April 4, 2023, four days after a Ford press release characterized the joint venture as a project under PRC’s BRI, [U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Sung] Kim celebrated the agreement stating: ‘I am deeply impressed by all the work that has gone into making this partnership a reality …’ In reality, this project makes America more dependent on the PRC. American officials should be condemning efforts to undermine the strategic interests of the United States, not endorsing them.”

 

Click here for the letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Click here for the letter sent to the Department of Justice.

Click here for the letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Click here for the letter sent to the Treasury Department & Department of Commerce.

Click here for the letter sent to the Department of State.