The company responsible for a controversial electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan is registered under U.S. law as a foreign entity, filings show.
While the energy company Gotion, Inc. is based out of Fremont, Calif., Foreign Agents Registration Act documents filed by the corporation earlier this year show that it “is wholly owned and controlled” by Gotion High-Tech, which is based out of Hefei, a city in eastern China.
Michigan residents, Republicans and environmental groups have voiced opposition to Gotion’s plans to build a $2.4 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Big Rapids with more than $1 billion in taxpayer support.
The Chinese parent company’s governing articles state: “The Company shall set up a Party organization and carry out Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”
Gotion’s “Party Committee” will ensure the company follows the Chinese Communist Party’s regulations and “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,” per the articles.
All businesses in China, including foreign ones, are required under the law to have such committees with three or more party members, according to Bloomberg.
Gotion’s North American Manufacturing Vice President Chuck Thelen dismissed concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on the company, and he said it is “not Chinese-owned.”
“The rumors that you’ve heard about us bringing communism to North America are just flat-out fear-mongering and really have nothing based in reality,” he said earlier this month, according to Politico.