(StraightNews.org) — The Biden administration has defended its decision to give a grant of $200 million to a company with strong ties to the Chinese government. The Texas-based company, Microvast, was one of 20 companies to receive part of a $3 billion package aimed at boosting battery production in the US.
While described by the Department of Energy as an American company, a financial disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November revealed that 69% of the company’s revenue is generated in China.
Furthermore, the same disclosure claimed that the Chinese government “exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities and may intervene at any time and with no notice”.
In its SEC submission in 2021, Microvast stated that it conducts business principally through its subsidiary in China and that it has received subsidies from the government there.
Furthermore, in May of this year, Microvast was added to the SEC’s list of companies not in compliance with American auditing requirements. The requirements are part of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and are intended to prevent foreign auditors obscuring company’s finances.
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) who sits on the House Science Committee has strongly criticized the decision to award funding to Microvast. He said, “funding to a company with known ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) raises serious concerns about the department’s ability to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars from exploitation by the CCP”.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) echoed these sentiments in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in which he described Microvast as “joined at the hip with China”. Sen. Barrasso, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, described the grant award as “demonstrably antithetical”.
More than 200 companies applied for part of the $3 billion Energy Department scheme.
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