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Ford Supplier CATL Pushes Back Against Forced Labor Claims

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) – which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of batteries – has been under fire for some time now, largely due to the fact that it’s based out of China, a country that hasn’t historically enjoyed the coziest relationship with the U.S. This scrutiny has intensified since Ford announced that it would be licensing technology from CATL to build lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) batteries at the under-construction BlueOval Battery Park Michigan plant, and the company continues to deny the many negative claims being made against it.

CATL Shenxing LFP Battery

Just last week, a number of U.S. lawmakers called for CATL and fellow Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion to be banned from shipping their products to America due to their alleged use of forced labor by adding both to the entity list of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. CATL denied those allegations at the time, but has since released a more comprehensive statement on the matter.

“A June 5th letter by U.S. Members of Congress, accusing CATL of having connections to forced labor, is groundless and completely false,” the company said in a statement. “It cites information about suppliers in an inaccurate and misleading way. With some suppliers quoted in the letter, business relations ceased long ago. With other suppliers, business relations have been conducted with different subsidiaries and with absolutely no connection to forced labor or anything that violates U.S. applicable laws and regulations. With still others, we have never procured any products from them and the cited information is simply wrong and misguided. CATL is in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations with respect to its operations and business activities in the U.S.”

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Twister China - Exterior 001 - Front

“CATL adheres to the highest business and ethical standards, and has effective policies in place to ensure responsible and sustainable supply chain according to the highest global standards. CATL has established strict internal controls of procurement to ensure we are in full compliance with all applicable requirements. We have also deployed audit toolkit ‘CREDIT’ to evaluate the sustainability performance of enterprises across the battery supply chain, and is a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote global energy transition and green development.”

CATL Shenxing LFP Battery

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating CATL’s relationship with Ford for months now, voicing concerns over China’s influence on the global EV supply chain and national security, though The Blue Oval maintains that it is merely licensing technology from the battery maker and noting that it won’t have any sort of ownership stake in the future Michigan plant. Regardless, amid concerns pertaining to an “invasion” of cheap Chinese EVs, the Biden Administration recently increased tariffs on those models and batteries made in China by a significant margin as well.

We’ll have more on CATL soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comment

  1. Mf

    That’s exactly the sort of response you’d expect from a company benefitting from forced labor.

    Reply

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