Report: Biden Energy Department Touts $200M Grant to Battery Company Primarily Operating in China

Breitbart – by Jacob Bliss

The Department of Energy under President Joe Biden is touting a $200 million grant it gave to a lithium battery company that would help the United States  grow its domestic sources of green energy, even though it “primarily” operates in China, according to a report.

Microvast, a Texas-based company that “primarily” operates in China, according to the Washington Free Beacon, received $200 million in grant money provided by the U.S. government from the so-called “Bipartisan” Infrastructure Law to help shift the county to green energy.

When the grants were announced in October, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm touted the investment in “American-made” products:

This is truly a remarkable time for manufacturing in America, as President Biden’s Agenda and historic investments supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made. Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating more good-paying jobs across the country. [Emphasis added.]

Additionally, in the grant’s announcement, the Department of Energy touted that Microvast is a “majority U.S.-owned company, traded on NASDAQ” that is “headquartered in Stafford, Texas,” with additional locations in Tennessee, Florida, and Colorado. However, the Free Beacon explained that financial records reveal the company primarily works out of China:

[F]inancial records show the company operates primarily out of China. Microvast itself says the Chinese government “exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities and may intervene, at any time and with no notice.” The company was also recently added to a Securities and Exchange Commission watchlist of Chinese companies that are on track to be delisted from NASDAQ for failing to comply with U.S. auditing requirements.

The report also noted that the so-called “Bipartisan” Infrastructure Law states that the Department of Energy should avoid using the grants money to fund any project that “use battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern,” including companies “subject to the jurisdiction or direction” of China.

Moreover, the Free Beacon wrote that Microvast describes itself in its 2021 annual SEC report as a “holding company” that conducts its business “principally through our subsidiary in China.”

“A substantial portion of our operations and manufacturing and most of our current customers are in the [People’s Republic of China],” Microvast added in its SEC report, according to the Free Beacon, which also explained that it previously received subsidies from the Chinese government in addition to noting that most of its customers are associated with “state-owned companies in the PRC.”

Furthermore, the SEC, in May, added the lithium battery company to a list of companies that do not satisfy U.S. auditing requirements under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, as the Free Beacon noted:

In May, the SEC added Microvast to a list of Chinese companies that aren’t in compliance with U.S. auditing requirements under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. The law, which went into effect last spring, is designed to prevent Chinese companies listed on the U.S. stock exchanges from using non-approved China-based auditors to obscure their finances.

Companies that remain on the list for three consecutive years will be delisted from NASDAQ. They are also required to disclose whether they have any directors who are members of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP ownership.

The Free Beacon explained that, according to Microvast spokeswoman Sarah Alexander, Microvast CEO Yang Wu is a U.S. citizen. Still, Arthur Wong, another director at the company, is a Hong Kong citizen based in Beijing and is the chairman of the audit committee at Daqo New Energy Corporation — where a subsidiary of that company, according to the report, was previously sanctioned by the Biden administration for having connections to slave labor.

Alexander noted that one of Microvast’s directors is a member of the Chinese Communist Party and that the company primarily operates out of Huzhou, China, where their website says it has a “Manufacturing Facility and R&D Center.”

Regarding the SEC’s compliance list, the spokeswoman said that it could change due to  “recent developments on the [Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act], including an agreement between the U.S. and Chinese governments to allow for” complete inspections. Recently, “U.S. and Chinese regulatory officials are in talks to settle a long-running dispute over the auditing compliance of U.S.-listed Chinese firms,” Reuters reported.

However, as Breitbart News extensively reported last year, Biden’s energy secretary is no stranger to controversy regarding taxpayer-funded government grants in the green energy sector. During Granholm’s two terms as Michigan’s governor, pushing for electric vehicles was “a major focus” of hers, “which she pursued by selecting particular businesses and industries to back with state taxpayer support,” Michigan Capitol Confidential notes.

When she was governor, Granholm approved billions of dollars in state-approved tax credits for her chosen companies. Still, Michigan Capitol Confidential noted that “every single one fell far short of the job projections hailed by the Granholm administration in press releases. And a good number of the companies went bankrupt.”

Breitbart News added:

The most notorious of Granholm’s state-backed grant failures was the Michigan-based electric battery company A123 Systems, to which Granholm’s administration granted $141 million in state credits and subsidies in conjunction with a $249 million federal stimulus grant from the Obama administration to develop lithium ion battery technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Despite this massive government investment, A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy in October 2012. And then in 2013, the Obama-Biden administration approved the sale of A123 Systems to a Chinese company, thereby allowing China to acquire all of the U.S. taxpayer-funded electric battery research developed by the Michigan company.

Given the Biden administration’s soft stance on China and lack of clear safeguards in the so-called “Bipartisan” Infrastructure Law to prevent China from buying up U.S. assets and government subsidized companies, it is possible any company receiving grant money from the U.S. could be the next A123 Systems.

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