The saga of A123 Systems’ sale to Chinese Wanxiang is still making waves.
The Strategic Materials Advisory Council (SMAC) unveiled on Jan. 3 a myths/facts paper on the issue.
The SMAC as well as dozen of Republican and Democratic members of Congress say they are “deeply concerned by the economic and national security implications of the sale to Wanxiang and urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to carefully scrutinize the deal.”
As a reminder, on Dec. 11, 2012, Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang Group Corporation received court approval to acquire a majority of U.S. battery manufacturer A123 Systems.
Navitas Systems, LLC was approved to purchase the defense portion of the company. However, the sale is subject to review by the CFIUS.
Said review is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
The SMAC asserts that A123 Systems’ lithium-ion phosphate technology is far more advanced than other known alternatives and cannot be separated by application or business sector.
In SMAC’s words, “allowing the sale of A123 to Wanxiang poses an imminent national security risk due to the implications of a future U.S. dependence on China for access to U.S.-developed battery technology.”
Comprised of a group of former U.S. government senior officials and industry leading experts, the SMAC was formed with the clear objective of responding to threats to the U.S. industrial base and the critical materials supply chain.