April 11, 2021
Electric vehicle battery firms settle trade spat
Two big South Korean electric vehicle battery makers have settled a long-running trade dispute that will allow one of them to move ahead with plans to make batteries in Georgia, a person briefed on the matter says.
LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation reached the settlement, ending the need for President Joe Biden to intervene in the dispute, the person said Saturday. The person asked not to be identified because the companies have not yet announced the settlement. No details were available.
The U.S. International Trade Commission decided in February that SK stole 22 trade secrets from LG Energy, and that SK should be barred from importing, making or selling batteries in the United States for 10 years.
The decision could have left Ford and Volkswagen scrambling for batteries as they both roll out additional electric vehicle models. SK has contracts to make batteries for an electric Ford F-150 pickup truck and an electric Volkswagen SUV.
The commission said SK could supply batteries to Ford Motor Co. for four years and to Volkswagen AG for two years.
The decision jeopardized a $2.6 billion battery factory that SK is building in Commerce, Georgia.
Politicians were calling on Biden to overrule the commission's decision. Biden had until Sunday night to make a decision.
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