Biden Admin Will Not Investigate Gotion Inc.’s Ties with CCP

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

The Biden administration will allow the construction of a Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) connection to Gotion Inc. near Big Rapids, Michigan. The U.S. Treasury Department told Gotion Inc. the land purchase for the $2.4 billion Chinese battery part manufacturing plant is "not a covered real estate transaction and is not a covered transaction under the Defense Production Act of 1950." Gotion Inc. North American Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Gotion High-Tech. The publicly held Company established its U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley in 2014. Gotion's VP of North America Operations, Chuck Thelen, is from the Big Rapids area.

Gotion submitted documents associated with its plans to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). However, neither the federal government nor Gotion has ever made the documents public. CFIUS is a federal review panel that audits foreign companies for national security risks. Local residents have challenged the Company's plans for national security and environmental reasons. As of June 16, organizers for the effort collected and submitted 399 signatures in five days to "freeze the township's actions." Residents are only required to collect 133 signatures.

Mary Engelsman, one of the Mecosta County residents working on the recall effort, said, "It is a David-and-Goliath kind of thing." Engelsman said of their efforts:

"We're just going to keep going. We're not going to just turn over and play dead.

This is very important. We've not had a say in this Gotion thing. This has been shoved down our throats from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on down, so it's important for people to be able to vote and have a say."

Gotion Gets Big Tax Breaks and SOAR Funding in Michigan

Gotion will benefit from a "30-year tax break valued at $540 million and two grants totaling $175 million." According to the Detroit News, "The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 10-9 to approve the transfer of state tax dollars, allowing state officials to move forward with spending the money to bring a $2.4 billion EV battery parts facility to Green Township and an estimated 2,350 jobs to Mecosta County."

Ten Democrats voted for the tax dollar spending from the state's Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund. Three Democrats and six Republicans voted against it. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been a strong proponent of the deal. In October 2022, Whitmer touted the project as "the biggest ever economic development project in Northern Michigan and will shore up our status as the global hub of mobility and electrification." According to Whitmer's October 5 press release:

"Once completed, the facility in Big Rapids is expected to produce 150,000 tons of cathode material per year, covering an area estimated to span 260 acres with plans to build two 550,000 square foot production plants along with other supporting facilities. Additionally, the project will involve the construction of two production plants specifically dedicated to producing anodes, ultimately resulting in 50,000 tons of anode material produced per year."

Michigan Politicians Rail Against Gotion's Plans for EV Plant

In an April 2023 OpEd, Congressman John Moolenaar challenged Gotion's plans. Moolenaar is from Michigan's Second Congressional District and worries about the CCP's "expanding influence in America." Moolenaar "supports legislation that would ban the CCP from buying American farmland" and a "bill that bans CCP companies from buying oil from our country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve." Moolenaar added while Michigan needs more manufacturing jobs, he believes the state should not partner with the CCP "or its subsidiaries."

Speaker McCarthy named Moolenaar to the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. The committee investigates activities associated with the CCP on American soil. This was the committee that helped to make public the "secret CCP police stations" in the U.S.

Rep. John James (R-Farmington Hills) also introduced the No American Tax Dollars to CCP in April and Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Bruce Township, spoke out against the Gotion deal on May 18.

Gotion Documents Show Ties to CCP

An "exclusive" exposè from the Midwesterner exposes Gotion's ties with the CCP. When Gotion purchased 700 acres of land near Big Rapids, it published a 94-page document entitled "Articles of Association." The document references "the company's governance structure and allegiance to the 'Constitution of the Communist Party of China.'"

Gotion Inc./

Further down in the document, Article 9 states the Company's involvement in "setting up a Party organization" and the Company's commitment to "ensure necessary conditions for carrying out Party activities." Chapter VI stipulates the Company's agreement to "set up the Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd. Committee of the Communist Party of China ("Party Committee").

Chapter VI/Party/

The document also ensures the Party Committee's commitment to "comprehensively and strictly governing the Party; lead the ideological and political work, united front work, spiritual civilization construction, enterprise culture construction, labor union, Communist Youth League and other mass work of the Company; lead the construction of Party conduct and clean government, and support the Commission for Discipline Inspection in earnestly fulfilling its supervisory responsibilities."

Grass-roots level engagement is encouraged in the company "to give full play to the role of the Party branch as a fighting fortress and the vanguard and exemplary role of Party members, united and lead cadres and staff to actively participate in the reform and development of the Company."

The Company's founder, Li Zhen, is a former government employee who was heavily involved in "local communist government leadership."

According to the Midwesterner, a Grand Rapids-based non-profit called The Right Place helped Chuck Thelen, head of the Big Rapids operation, "lobby for government approvals." In October 2022, the non-profit produced a document summarizing Gotion's plans in Michigan but failed to mention even a whisper of its connections to the CCP.

Get the latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 UncoverDC