Disclosures Behind Industrial Plant In Michigan Is Raising Concerns Says Report
Residents, Republican politicians, and national security experts have raised significant concerns about potential Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence in Michigan over a proposed multi-billion dollar electric vehicle battery plant.
The company behind the project, Gotion Inc., has faced persistent uproar since announced last October, when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled plans for the facility. Gotion Inc.'s parent company, Gotion High-Tech, is based in China, and the corporate bylaws of the parent company appear to tie it to the CCP.
Chuck Thelen, Gotion's North American manufacturing vice president, has sought to ease worries and has called the CCP concerns “flat-out fear-mongering.” Thelen noted that plans call for the construction of two 550,000-square-foot production plants, other supporting facilities, and thousands of jobs for Michigan residents.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes has also dismissed the Republican 'scare tactics', but the following day, April 21, Gotion Inc. was registered as a Chinese foreign principal according to disclosures reviewed by Fox News Digital.
The U.S. subsidiary's filing declared it was “wholly owned and controlled" by the China-based Hefei Gotion High-Tech Power Energy Co., Ltd., a revelation that further stoked fears about CCP involvement in the Michigan facility.
What’s more, the plant would be based within 60 miles of military armories and 100 miles from Camp Grayling, the U.S. National Guard's largest training facility. The Wall Street Journal reported that Camp Grayling hosts training exercises for Taiwanese soldiers that could be vulnerable to Chinese espionage.
"I'm angry. I'm angry that this vote was slipped into the agenda today with as little information as possible," local resident Marjorie Steele said in a state Senate Appropriations Committee vote in April that ultimately allowed Gotion to receive $175 million in direct taxpayer funding. "Our elected officials have ignored my community's pleas to table this vote until some small semblance of due diligence can be performed."
Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin and a high-level staffer also signed a non-disclosure agreement about the proposed electric vehicle battery factory at Big Rapids, according to Fox News Digital.
Despite the government's green light granting Gotion approval to build the new facility, the company's lingering ties to the CCP have raised red flags among residents, lawmakers, and national security experts. Gotion Inc. did not respond to a request for comment.