SK Innovation, LG Chem Attain Deal In Electrical Car Battery Commerce Dispute : NPR

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A driver uses a fast electric vehicle charging station at John F. Kennedy Airport on April 2. President Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan would use $ 174 billion to produce electric vehicles in the United States. Spencer Platt / Getty Images Hide caption

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A driver uses a fast electric vehicle charging station at John F. Kennedy Airport on April 2. President Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan would use $ 174 billion to produce electric vehicles in the United States

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Two of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries reached an agreement on Sunday that President Biden described as “a win for American workers and the American auto industry.”

SK Innovation and LG Chem were embroiled in a dispute after LG accused SK of abusing trade secrets. LG filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission in 2019 and the commission ruled in LG’s favor and banned the import of SK for ten years.

SK agreed to pay LG $ 1.8 billion in cash and royalties as part of the settlement, and both South Korea-based companies agreed not to sue each other for the next 10 years.

The deal means SK can complete construction of an EV lithium-ion battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, that will power Ford and Volkswagen with batteries, two contracts it won prior to the ITC ruling.

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The deal came just hours before a deadline by which Biden should have decided to override the ITC or uphold the verdict, potentially losing jobs and resources that would help him meet his electric vehicle goals for the US

Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan is earmarked for $ 174 billion to increase sales and production of electric vehicles.

“We need a strong, diversified and resilient supply chain for electric vehicle batteries in the US so that we can meet the growing global demand for these vehicles and components – create well-paying jobs here at home and lay the foundations for the jobs of tomorrow.” “Said Biden in a statement about the announcement.

SK’s Georgia facilities are estimated to provide 2,600 jobs in the area, and both state Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and Republican Governor Brian Kemp urged Biden to take action to save the factories.

Biden said Sunday’s deal “will bring welcome relief to workers in Georgia and new opportunities for workers across the country”.

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US sales representative Katherine Tai helped facilitate the transaction and congratulated both companies on the deal. She said this “builds confidence in her reliability and responsibility as a supplier to the US auto industry.”

“After working extensively with a number of stakeholders, we are in a stronger position to drive the innovation and growth of clean energy technologies envisaged in the US Employment Plan, while respecting the rights of technology innovators who are at the heart of trade and manufacturing policies,” so Tai said in a statement.

The CEOs of the two companies issued a joint statement saying that they will “contribute to the development of the EV battery industry in South Korea and the US through healthy competition and friendly cooperation”.