If Wanxiang owns A123's intellectual property and highly skilled technicians, that means controlling today's battery technology plus a 10-year leap in development. Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota and Chuck Grassley Iowa warn that the deal could give Wanxiang "access to these defense contracts and technology used by multiple branches of the U.S. military."
This giant and valuable gift would give Communist China cutting-edge, military-grade technology and control of the future supply chain. China would be able to use all this technology to continue its rapid buildup of a military to achieve dominance in the Pacific.
The U.S. military has made a big investment in A123's technology, which the Army's chief of technology acquisition has called the "technology of the decade." To develop it, the Air Force spent $4 million, the Navy spent $700,000, and the Army spent $21.8 million.
This technology is critical to many U.S. military operations, proprietary applications for underwater vehicles, shipboard advanced systems, unmanned ground and air systems and portable power in satellites, combat vehicles and precision munitions. It is valuable to support soldiers in unfriendly ground conditions and excessive heat, and can lighten their heavy loads.
More than two-dozen members of Congress have spoken out to oppose the sale of A123. Letters have been sent to the Secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Energy and Homeland Security urging consideration of the "potential harmful consequences, including any threats to domestic security, innovation leadership and job creation."
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in his year-end report to Congress, accused China of flouting World Trade Organization rules and misusing the complaint procedure to retaliate against other countries. Kirk's report also accused China of violating WTO rules by forcing other firms to give their trade secrets to China.
Especially since U.S. taxpayers funded the development of these assets, it is contrary to common sense to transfer this cutting-edge battery technology to China and disadvantage U.S. national security. Whether we will allow Wanxiang to buy A123 with its new battery technology is now under review by CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.).
Tell your Members of Congress to stop this giveaway of U.S. technology to Communist China.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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