Ahead of President Biden's scheduled visit to Michigan on Tuesday to support the United Auto Workers on the picket line, Ford Motor Co. announced a pause in building a multi-billion battery factory in the state on Monday. This comes as Congressional Republicans investigate Ford's connections with a Chinese electric vehicle battery company.
"We're pausing work, and we're going to limit spending on construction at Marshall until we're confident about our ability to competitively run the plant," Ford spokesman T.R. Reid told The Detroit News on Monday.
Reid mentioned that multiple "considerations" influenced the decision. However, he did not specify whether the ongoing UAW strike, currently in its second week, was one of the main factors leading to the decision to shutter construction at the Marshall, Michigan, battery plant.
The Wall Street Journal said several Republican-led committees in the House have opened an investigation into Ford's deal with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), one of the world's largest EV battery manufacturers based in China, to manufacture battery cells.
Former US Ambassadors Peter Hoekstra and Joseph Cella, co-founders of the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, were quoted by Fox News as saying:
"We applaud that the construction of this reckless deal has been halted.
"From the outset, Ford Motor Company, the State of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and all other parties to it have been irresponsible in advancing this deal."
"There was zero strict scrutiny or due diligence, concerns of our intelligence and national security agencies were ignored and mocked.
"The halting of the construction is the natural result of the consent of the governed being ruptured by government and business elites. With citizen activists, we are not relenting or letting our guard down. We will keep fighting against the Ford-CATL and Gotion deals until they are no more."
Many Michigan Democrats support the Ford-CATL deal, while Republicans oppose it.
On Sunday, ultra-liberal New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told CBS's Face the Nation that she intends to sell her non-union-made Tesla Model 3 for a union-made EV from Michigan. Notably, Tesla's are the most American-made EVs, a detail often overlooked by Democrats who prefer EVs from General Motors or Stellantis, which source their parts internationally. This only suggests some Democrats are prioritizing radical politics over their so-called 'climate change' and 'build back better' narrative.