LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jonathan Lindsey renewed previous calls for a thorough investigation into Chinese involvement in the planned Ford Motor Co. battery plant in Marshall.
“From day one, I pointed to national security concerns surrounding this project, and legislative leadership time and time again ignored the calls from lawmakers, private citizens and national security officials,” said Lindsey, R-Allen. “The Democratic leadership in the Michigan Legislature willfully ignored these calls and not only put our state and nation’s security at risk but did so using public tax dollars. Calling this a dereliction of duty would be a massive understatement.”
The chairs of two U.S. House committees recently sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for the investigation of four Chinese companies allegedly involved in Ford’s planned battery plant. The letter from the committee chairs said four Chinese companies have direct ties to the Chinese military and the Chinese Communist Party, as well as the North Korean government.
Lindsey, who opposed the heavily taxpayer-funded project since its inception, routinely called for more due diligence into the Chinese companies involved in the battery plant. While the Michigan Senate was considering the taxpayer-funded portion of the project, Lindsey not only opposed the measure, but forced a vote on his amendment that would have required the review of any relationship between one of the companies in question, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) and the Chinese government and military. The review would have addressed security threats and human rights abuses, among other concerns with Chinese involvement in the project.
Every Democrat senator voted against Lindsey’s amendment.
“I think Michigan and United States taxpayers deserve far better than this laissez-faire attitude when it comes to national security and their hard-earned tax dollars,” Lindsey said. “Democrats in the Legislature scoffed at the idea of potential security concerns and ignored warnings and red flags as they pressed forward with the project in Marshall.”
In the letter, the two committee chairs said the same Chinese company that is working on the Marshall plant is also providing engineering design services to the Chinese military. The lawmakers also contacted the treasury and state departments alleging the company providing IT support for the project also has ties to North Korea — a nation known for cyber espionage.
“Democrat leadership from the president to Michigan lawmakers, put us in this position, and we need to address the reality of what this could mean for the security of our state and nation,” Lindsey said. “I strongly support a more thorough investigation into these companies and encourage U.S. officials to remain strong in their skepticism of the partnership between battery production and our nation’s largest adversary.”