LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Lana Theis, Ed McBroom, Joe Bellino, Dan Lauwers, and Kevin Daley on Tuesday sent an urgent request to Michigan’s congressional delegation that they investigate Gotion High-tech Co., Ltd., whose subsidiary is being considered for taxpayer funding to support a battery manufacturing plant in Big Rapids.
“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,” the Republican senators said. “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.”
Gotion, a Chinese Communist Party-affiliated battery manufacturer, along with The Right Place economic development group, is proposing a multimillion square feet facility on hundreds of acres near Big Rapids. Part of the contentious deal, which has largely been crafted in secret, includes the transfer of $175 million in Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) funding, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars more in various incentives. All told, the project would receive over $800 million in combined cash and incentives from the state.
In addition to the company’s direct ties to the CCP, which presents a national security risk, the plan has come under scrutiny for its secrecy and lack of oversight, which may present environmental and public safety risks as well.