By Bob Hoge
The Ford Motor Company announced Monday that it is pausing construction on a massive electric battery plant in Michigan that involved a Chinese EV battery company. Notably, the plan had been originally considered for Virginia, but Gov. Glenn Youngkin opposed it due to China’s potential influence in the plan, arguing that “CATL and the Chinese Communist Party would have full operational control over the technology.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had no such qualms, however, and welcomed the plant with open arms as her state government pumped $1 billion into the project.
It’s not clear why Ford got cold feet:
Ford said in a statement to FOX Business that work on the factory had been paused and spending would be limited, but declined to pinpoint the exact considerations that factored into the decision. The Detroit-based company also said it hadn’t made a final decision about the project despite repeatedly defending it for months.
“We’re pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident about our ability to competitively operate the plant,” Ford spokesperson T.R. Reid told FOX Business. “We haven’t made any final decision about the planned investment there.”
Ford had initially planned on spending upwards of $3.5 billion on the project in Marshall, Michigan. It was hoped it would produce at least 2,500 jobs.
Concerns had been raised by multiple groups, including the House Ways and Means Committee, about the wisdom of partnering with the Chinese on such a critical project. A group of House Republicans wrote a letter earlier in September to Ford CEO Jim Farley blasting the plan: