Ford has stopped building a factory to produce batteries for electric vehicles after facing criticism from Republican politicians for its ties to China.

Ford has stopped building a factory to produce batteries for electric vehicles after facing criticism from Republican politicians for its ties to China.

The construction of a planned electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan by Ford will be temporarily halted. This decision has been met with criticism from Republicans due to the company’s intention to utilize licensed Chinese battery technology.

According to a statement from Ford spokesperson T.R. Reid, the company will temporarily halt operations and reduce expenses at the facility until they are certain they can effectively run it in a competitive manner. No concrete decisions have been made yet regarding the planned investment at the location.

The reason for the pause was not specified by the company, but it occurred during the second week of a strike by United Auto Workers against Ford, GM, and Stellantis. If the work stoppage is resolved, it is expected that there will be a significant increase in labor costs for the automakers as they shift their attention to manufacturing electric vehicles.

In a statement on Monday, UAW President Shawn Fain strongly criticized the pause, calling it a “disgraceful” move by Ford to potentially eliminate jobs. This comes just days after Fain had previously commended the company for progress made during negotiations and decided not to include Ford in a nationwide strike.

“Closing 65 plants over the last 20 years wasn’t enough for the Big Three, now they want to threaten us with closing plants that aren’t even open yet,” Fain said. “We are simply asking for a just transition to electric vehicles and Ford is instead doubling down on their race to the bottom.”

In February, Ford declared plans to establish a $3.5 billion facility in Marshall, Michigan by 2026. The plant will employ 2,500 individuals and make Ford the first automaker in the U.S. to produce next-generation lithium, iron, phosphate batteries.

In order to accomplish this, Ford will need to…

I intended to depend on authorized technology.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. is the biggest producer of electric vehicle batteries globally. This Chinese company has made significant advancements in LFP battery technology.

2017 tax law

The proposed establishment received swift opposition from both the community and lawmakers due to concerns about the technology being used, as there is currently increased scrutiny on government funds being allocated to China. The initiative may qualify for benefits under the 2017 tax legislation.Inflation Reduction Act

The package entails tax benefits for electric cars and the local manufacturing of batteries.

Marshall residents earlier this year detailed their concerns about the project to POLITICO, including over the process leading up to its announcement, the potential environmental impacts, particularly to the Kalamazoo River, and the loss of farmland, as well as the link to China.

a separate investigation into the company’s operations.

Earlier this year, citizens filed a legal case to stop the facility, while members of the House of Representatives began a distinct inquiry into the company’s practices.multiple probes into the deal.

Ford has stated that they will retain ownership and management of the plant. CATL’s role will be limited to licensing their battery cell technology and they will not receive any financial support from taxpayers.

Michigan GOP Rep. Lisa McClain

In a post on X, which was previously called Twitter, the writer stated that the pause was excellent news for Michigan and a significant setback for the Chinese Communist Party.

McClain stated that Chinese technology should not be allowed in our country and expressed satisfaction in the decision to halt construction of the battery plant.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a staunch opponent of the facility, wrote on X that Chinese firms like CATL “shouldn’t be allowed to influence American industry or public officials and they certainly shouldn’t benefit from American taxpayer subsidies.”

Chair of the House Select Committee on ChinaMike Gallagher

Representative (R-Wis.), who is spearheading an investigation into the facility, urged Ford to permanently cancel the deal.

According to a statement made to POLITICO, the close connection between CATL and CCP’s use of forced labor is unacceptable in the American market, making the company unsuitable to receive funding from American taxpayers.

Efforts to obtain a response from CATL were unsuccessful at the time of writing.

On Monday, the decision was made to pause construction plans due to the UAW strike, which was fueled by concerns that the shift towards electric vehicles would neglect its employees. President Joe Biden intends to show his support for the striking workers by visiting the picket lines on Tuesday.

Out of the three car companies, UAW has made the most advancements in reaching an agreement with Ford. Despite the compromises it has proposed, Ford may experience an increase in labor expenses at a time when its electric vehicle division is already facing challenges in competing with non-unionized automakers such as Tesla.

The UAW supported the Marshall plant after its announcement in February, stating that their agreement with Ford would permit them to unionize using a card check system rather than holding an election.

1% pay raise

The union rejected a 1% salary increase.separate $9.2 billion loan from the Energy Department

Three manufacturing plants will be built in Tennessee and Kentucky to aid Ford’s electric vehicle production. This decision was made because the employees in those locations are not currently covered by UAW contracts.

Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic Governor, endorses the Marshall project and has allocated state-level incentives worth hundreds of millions of dollars for it.

On Monday, Governor Whitmer’s press secretary Stacey LaRouche stated that the governor is dedicated to maintaining Michigan’s status as a home for top-tier automakers. She also mentioned that the pause is related to ongoing union negotiations.

LaRouche stated that Ford has made it clear that this is only a temporary break, and they are optimistic that talks between the Big 3 and UAW will result in a positive outcome, allowing workers in Michigan to return to their jobs and excel at their duties.

In a statement, Jim Durian, the CEO of Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance, expressed confidence in the project’s ability to generate economic opportunities and jobs within the local community.

Durian stated that they are hopeful that the ongoing negotiations between Ford and the UAW will reach a positive outcome, and they are confident that the project will proceed as intended after the negotiations are finished.

However, GOP Rep. Tim Walberg
The representative for Marshall stated that the Big Three car companies are facing conflicting demands from both Biden’s electric vehicle mandate and the ongoing strike.

He emphasized that the Ford announcement highlights the importance of the Biden administration taking action to remove unrealistic and job-destroying requirements, reduce China’s influence in our supply chain, empower consumers, and restore the ability for automakers to innovate.

The request for comment on Ford’s announcement was not immediately addressed by the White House. The pause was initially reported by the Detroit News.