House Republicans Seek to Ban DHS From Buying Chinese Batteries

A group of House Republicans has introduced additional legislation aimed at preventing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from procuring batteries from six China-based companies.

Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, introduced the legislation, H.R.8631, on June 5, titled “Decoupling from Foreign Adversarial Battery Dependence Act.”

“We cannot continue ceding dominance over our critical supply chains to our greatest geopolitical rival. I am proud to introduce this legislation to ensure the Chinese Communist Party can’t exploit economic or security vulnerabilities that could be created through DHS reliance on lithium-ion batteries,” Mr. Gimenez said in a statement.

The six companies identified in the bill are Contemporary Amperex Technology Company (CATL), BYD, Envision Energy, EVE Energy, Gotion High-Tech, and Hithium Energy Storage Technology. If signed into law, the ban would take effect on Oct. 1, 2027.

The legislation resembles a provision in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which bans the Department of Defense from buying batteries from the same six China-based companies.

“The West was far too late to recognize the threat of Huawei, TikTok, and PRC-manufactured cranes installed at America’s seaports,” Mr. Gimenez said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.

Related Story

Lawmakers Urge DHS to Blacklist Major Chinese Battery Companies

“We know that doing business in China means enriching the CCP—and that comes at a steep cost, even if there are perceived short-term benefits. America must be proactive in addressing the threats posed by the CCP to our technology, information, and way of life,” Mr. Gimenez said.

“The Department of Defense has rightfully ended the use of these PRC-manufactured batteries, and it is past time for DHS to follow suit.”

The proposal follows a mid-May action from the Biden administration to impose a 100 percent tariff, up from 25 percent, on electric vehicle imports from China in 2024.
In 2021, the Department of Energy (DOE) released its National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, to establish a “secure battery materials and technology supply chain” between the United States and its partners by 2023.
In March, the DOE announced a conditional loan of $2.26 billion to Lithium Americas Corp’s subsidiary, Lithium Nevada Corp., to finance the construction of a lithium carbonate processing plant in Nevada.

Mr. Gimenez’s bill targeting the battery markets of foreign adversaries was cosponsored by Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), chairman of the Select Committee on the CCP; House Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.); and Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence chairman August Pfluger (R-Texas).

“American tax dollars should never be used to further the Chinese Communist Party’s hopes to dominate key technologies at our expense,” Mr. Moolenaar said in a statement. “Our military has already banned these batteries and DHS should do the same.”

CCP’s Monopoly

China-based companies account for the production of about 80 percent of the world’s batteries and 70 percent of the world’s lithium-ion batteries.

China’s CATL is the world’s largest maker of EV batteries. Ford is building a new electric vehicle plant in Michigan, and the site is set to produce batteries using technologies licensed from CATL.

Gotion High Tech’s U.S. subsidiary, Gotion Inc., is developing battery plants in Michigan and Illinois.

“Regarding security vulnerabilities, CATL could install malware on EVs, which could result in gathering sensitive information about their owners, as well as execute a shutdown of EV charging networks, or battery-energy storage systems or even disable targeted vehicles through hardware infiltration,” the the Select Committee on the CCP stated June 7. “It is critical to proactively work to prevent these and other vulnerabilities.”

In 2023, the United States imported nearly $12 billion of lithium-ion batteries from China, up from about $2 billion in 2020, according to data from Govini, a data analytics firm. 
Earlier in June, Mr. Moolenaar, Mr. Gimenez, Mr. Green, and two other Republican lawmakers sent two letters to Robert Silvers, DHS under secretary for strategy, policy, and plans. They urged the agency to immediately put CATL and Gotion High-Tech on an entity list created out of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), saying that the two companies’ supply chains are “deeply compromised” by the CCP’s state-sponsored slave labor and Uyghur genocide.

The CCP has locked up more than 1 million Uyghurs in its far-western region of Xinjiang, where detainees are subjected to forced labor, torture, political indoctrination, forced abortion, and other inhuman treatments in internment camps.

In 2023, Mr. Gimenez co-led the introduction of a bipartisan bill, titled the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act (H.R.4840). If enacted, the bill will require public companies to disclose any links that their products may have links to forced labor in Xinjiang.
In April, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking the commander-in-chief to ban Chinese-made EVs to protect Ohio autoworkers.

“Chinese electric vehicles are an existential threat to the American auto industry,” Mr. Brown wrote. “Ohio knows all too well how China illegally subsidizes its companies, putting our workers out of jobs and undermining entire industries, from steel to solar manufacturing. We cannot allow China to bring its government-backed cheating to the American auto industry.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Election Day Strategies!