Obama: “We Cannot Cede” Energy Technology to Other Nations

  Obama: “We Cannot Cede” Energy Technology to Other Nations

Strategic Materials Advisory Council Urges CFIUS to Follow President’s Mandate

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- January 21, 2013

The Strategic Materials Advisory Council today urged the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to follow the words of President
Obama’s Second Inaugural Address and refuse to hand over critical technology
to other countries.

In his Inaugural, the President said, “The path towards sustainable energy
sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this
transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology
that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.”

“The President could have been reading from our own public statements about
the transfer of advanced battery technology to a company owned by one of
China’s richest and most politically-connected individuals,” said Council
Co-Chair, former Army Acquisition Executive, Dean Popps.

“With more than $250 million in federal and state grants, it appears A123
Systems advanced the technology of lithium-ion batteries by at least a
decade,” Popps said. “What’s more, the grounding of the entire Boeing 787
fleet over concerns with its lithium-ion battery technology shows just how
vital this technology will be in the 21^st century.”

“This is exactly the science the President was talking about: technology that
will power the jobs and industries of tomorrow by powering our electrical grid
and our communications system. Even more central to the President’s concerns,
this science will power our satellites, unmanned military drones and our
soldiers in the field. This highly sensitive technology with key military
applications should not be handed over to China. American taxpayers own this
technology; we paid for it and, like the President said, we should claim its
promise.”

CFIUS, headed by Obama’s outgoing Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is in
the process of reviewing the transfer of A123 Systems’ technology to the
Shanghai-based Wanxiang Group in a bankruptcy sale. Wanxiang’s founder and CEO
is Chinese billionaire Lu Quanqiu, China’s 18^th richest man and a 44 year
member of China’s National People’s Congress.

In a maneuver described as “novel,” Wanxiang has established an “independent
trust” to buy a majority of A123’s assets while awaiting a decision from
CFIUS. “This ‘trust’ mechanism shouldn’t fool anyone,” Popps noted, “at the
end of the sale, this technology will still be Chinese-owned unless CFIUS
follows the mandate in today’s Inaugural address.”

About the Council

The Strategic Materials Advisory Council is a coalition of former U.S.
Government leaders and industry experts who have significant experience with
strategic and critical materials through decades of service in the public and
private sector. The Council was formed with the clear objective to promote
policy solutions that ensure continued access of both U.S. industry and
military to those materials needed to support a robust 21st century economy
and military.

Contact:

Strategic Materials Advisory Council
Dean Popps, 202-412-7997
info@strategicmaterials.org
 
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