U.S. lawmakers remain deeply troubled by Ford’s persistent non-compliance with three distinct congressional investigations into its undisclosed licensing arrangement with CATL, an electric vehicle battery firm aligned with the Chinese government.
Ford Motor Company announced on September 25th that it has temporarily suspended its collaboration with a Chinese battery manufacturer.
Chairmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Jason Smith (R-MO) of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee jointly penned a letter to Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley, urging the company to promptly cooperate with congressional investigations into its collaboration with CATL.
The lawmakers conveyed a warning to the Ford CEO, suggesting that a continued refusal to comply might lead to the initiation of a compulsory process or a formal request for him to appear before Congress.
In the letter, the lawmakers jointly write, “Ford’s ongoing refusal to provide substantive responses addressing the serious issues discussed in the April, July, and September letters undermines Ford’s own commitment to ‘act with transparency, integrity, and honesty’ and raises serious concerns regarding its licensing agreement with CATL.
“We write again today to seek a fully responsive production on the licensing agreement, Ford’s knowledge of CATL’s apparent attempt to shield its connection to Xinjiang-based companies, and Ford’s commitment to advance U.S. battery production.
“If Ford does not comply fully with all of the Committees’ July 20, 2023, document requests and the September 1, 2023, Energy and Commerce document request by no later than October 6, 2023, we will consider other means to obtain the documents, including compulsory process or insisting that you appear before Congress to publicly explain your failure to comply.”
The Select Committee stated that in April, July, and the subsequent September, lawmakers individually requested information from Ford regarding its licensing agreement with the CCP-aligned battery manufacturer CATL. This information included but was not limited to a copy of Ford’s licensing agreement with CATL in both English and Chinese, Ford’s knowledge of CATL’s connections to CCP forced labor and human rights abuses, Ford’s knowledge of CATL’s attempts to shield its connections to Xinjiang-based companies banned from exporting products to the U.S., Ford’s intention to import Chinese employees to fill well-paying U.S. jobs, and Ford’s discussions with the Biden administration regarding its CATL partnership and EV tax credits.