Ford rejects criticism from ITC over SK Innovation battery deals

WASHINGTON — Ford on Friday dismissed criticism from the U.S. Intercontinental Trade Commission above its final decision to pursue battery contracts with SK Innovation.

The ITC claimed the next-greatest U.S. automaker pursued new contracts even just after proof experienced emerged that the South Korean electric powered vehicle (EV) battery maker misappropriated trade techniques from cross-city rival LG Chem.

“Opposite to the ITC’s assumption, Ford was fully commited to a few additional battery systems tied to SK Innovation just before any misconduct experienced surfaced,” Ford said, incorporating that “vital points” would have emerged if the ITC “done a community curiosity hearing.”

The ITC did not immediately remark.

The ITC final month sided with LG Chem in its trade secrets and techniques statements, issuing a restricted 10-calendar year exclusion buy prohibiting imports of lithium-ion batteries manufactured by SK Innovation (SK).

It permitted SK to import factors for domestic production of batteries for Ford’s EV F-150 method for four many years, and for Volkswagen’s MEB electric auto line for North America for two yrs.

SK has warned the ITC decision would force it to halt development of a $2.6 billion battery plant in Georgia if it is not overturned by President Joe Biden.

In a redacted view produced on Thursday, the ITC questioned why Ford pursued battery contracts with SK Innovation following SK’s misconduct in this investigation experienced arrive to light-weight.

It claimed Ford sought business enterprise with SK even following a organization personnel was deposed in November 2019 in the commission’s investigation and when the automaker only had a agreement with SK to supply batteries for the EV F-150.

“There is no clarification in the document why Ford would choose to ignore or justification SK’s egregious misconduct,” the ITC stated.

“The fault here belongs with SK, as properly as with those, like Ford, who intentionally selected to proceed to cultivate prospective business relationships predicated on SK’s trade mystery misappropriation.”

Ford stated Friday it “does not condone the actions SK Innovation is accused of — specially misappropriating trade secrets and destroying evidence in the program of an investigation.”

LG Chem noted the ITC ruling located SK misappropriated LG trade secrets and techniques truly worth billions of pounds spanning the overall electric powered motor vehicle battery business enterprise.

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