After it was revealed that the battery manufacturer Gotion High-tech has close connections to the Taliban and the Chinese Communist Party, Michigan State Senators Lana Theis, Ed McBroom, Joe Bellino, Dan Lauwers, and Kevin Daley are conducting an investigation into Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s business relationship with the company. In Whitmer’s agreement with Gotion, Michigan taxpayers will finance the construction of the company in exchange for a Michigan facility.
As part of their investigation, the state senators requested federal legislators’ help in a statement released on Tuesday. “We are writing to urge you to use all federal resources available to immediately investigate whether Gotion High-tech Co., Ltd., as registered on the Swiss Stock Exchange, has ties or contracts with foreign countries that have an adversarial relationship with the United States of America, In light of the time sensitivity of this matter, we kindly request that you work to take swift action. Your prompt attention to this issue is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.”
In the legislative statement, Gotion was described as:
A battery manufacturer affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and The Right Place are proposing a multimillion-square-foot facility on hundreds of acres near Big Rapids. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional incentives, the contentious agreement includes the transfer of $175 million in Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) funds. The state would provide over $800 million in cash and other incentives for the endeavor.
In addition to the company’s direct connections to the CCP, which pose a threat to national security, the plan has come under scrutiny for its secrecy and lack of oversight, which may pose threats to the environment and public safety.
They recently released a statement praising their collaboration with the Taliban. “The representative of the company thanked the leadership of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and asked for an investment in the lithium sector of Afghanistan and said that he wants to invest $10 billion in the Lithium Mines of Afghanistan, which will provide employment for more than 120,000 people directly and one million people indirectly.”
Neither Gotion nor Governor Whitmer have responded to the Michigan State Senators’ letter.
“Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., ignored multiple requests for comment when asked why she signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to engage in closed-door discussions about a Chinese battery company’s proposed factory,” according to a Fox News report out on Thursday.
This year, Slotkin’s office confirmed to The Detroit News that she and her deputy legislative director Austin Girelli signed NDAs to discuss Gotion’s proposal to build an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Big Rapids, Michigan. Gotion is a subsidiary of Hefei, China-based Gotion High-Tech. The proposed factory would be located outside of Congressman Slotkin’s district.
Austin Cook, a spokesman for Slotkin, told the outlet in February that Slotkin believed it was essential “to learn more about significant economic development projects like this to better understand their impact, and if there are ways to help from the federal level.” He acknowledged that Slotkin and her staff signed NDAs in order to “participate in these discussions.”
Cook and Matt Hennessey, Slotkin’s chief of staff, ignored multiple Fox News Digital inquiries about the NDA this week, including whether Cook signed it to shield herself from queries about Gotion and whether such negotiations should have been kept confidential.
“When it was time for a Michigan voice to speak on the national security threats from the CCP emanating from companies based in the PRC and protect the State of Michigan, Congresswoman Slotkin and her staff needed to ask for an NDA, never took a position, and said nothing,” Peter Hoekstra, a former U.S. Ambassador, told Fox News.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“Hoekstra and fellow former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Cella recently founded the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group to study Chinese economic investments across the country with a particular focus on Michigan. The two have raised the alarm on Gotion’s proposed facility and similar projects involving other Chinese companies,” the Fox report added. CONTINUE READING…