US lawmakers are being urged to drop a push for an investigation into the purported security threat involving a Chinese battery company with plans to construct plants in the US.
Experts have pointed out that the continuation of this investigation carries the risk of undermining confidence in the US market, potentially leading Chinese industry players to explore alternative markets. This course of action could also impede the long-term growth of the US new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry and hinder its progress toward climate goals.
In what could be a fresh wave of efforts by US politicians to squeeze Chinese companies, Republican lawmakers on Wednesday urged the US Treasury Department to conduct a security review over China-linked ownership of Gotion Inc, which plans to build electric vehicle battery plants in the states of Michigan and Illinois, arguing its management is under Beijing's sway, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The plans were announced by state officials in October last year, in what could create thousands of jobs, another Reuters report said.
An employee of the Hefei-based Gotion Inc told the Global Times on Thursday that the project is progressing as planned, while declining to comment further.
Industry sources said that the move by the US lawmakers is another attempt to hype a threat in order to push Chinese companies out of the market.
"What safety issues could be associated with electric vehicle battery production? This appears to be another instance of certain US politicians unfairly targeting Chinese companies," Wang Jingzhong, deputy director-general of the China Battery Industry Association, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Chinese companies hold a global advantage in the electric vehicle and battery industry supply chains. Wang said that if the US continues this approach against Chinese companies, businesses should reconsider establishing factories there, as Chinese companies are well-received elsewhere.
While the US has made some progress in the field of new-energy vehicles, its industry chain is not as comprehensive as China's. This is primarily because Chinese companies have technological and production capacity advantages in electric vehicle battery production, and the corresponding policies from the Chinese government have been very supportive, experts said.
Chinese companies' competitive abilities make investments and factory construction align with the development needs of the US.
The move by the US politicians is not only self-damaging but also impracticable, Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"When US lawmakers mention so-called security issues, I believe it may be based on their subjective conjecture, and such speculation may not necessarily translate into action by administrative agencies," Zhou said.
US political parties tend to highlight certain issues, and China happens to be one of their favorite topics, as it easily garners external attention, Zhou said, urging US politicians not to arbitrarily cast doubt on Chinese enterprises with some "new" reasons or pretexts, as this is detrimental to the investment environment and undermines the achievement of US climate goals.