SEOUL: South Korea’s rival battery-makers LG Chem and SK Innovation, which provide Volkswagen, Ford and GM, are caught in a rising row within the United States as the hunt to create jobs complicates an ongoing legal fight, paperwork seen by Reuters present.
Last year, LG Chem sued smaller rival SK Innovation over alleged theft of business secrets and techniques, in search of to bar SK from producing battery cells within the United States and from importing the elements to make the cells.
In February, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary ruling in LG Chem’s favour, with a closing resolution expected in October.
SK Innovation and LG Chem declined to remark.
LG Chem, which plans to construct a battery manufacturing unit with GM in Ohio, secured backing from Ohio’s governor, who said the ITC must “remedy SKI’s unfair competition,” the paperwork present, relationship from May and seen on Tuesday confirmed.
He said a failure to take action might threaten funding by LG Chem and GM that may “will bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, ultimately employing around 1,100 American workers”.
“SKI is accused of stealing LG Chem’s intellectual property and using it to directly compete against workers in Ohio,” Ohio governor Mike DeWine said in an announcement to the ITC in May.
SK Innovation’s shoppers Volkswagen and Ford say a possible gross sales ban can be detrimental to EV battery provide and to jobs simply when the COVID-19 pandemic has created large-scale unemployment and financial injury.
“To avoid a catastrophic supply disruption,” the fee ought to permit SK Innovation to fabricate EV batteries in SK’s proposed U.S. manufacturing unit in Georgia, Volkswagen said in its public curiosity feedback to the ITC in May.
“The risk to such U.S. jobs is especially unacceptable in light of current economic conditions caused by COVID-19,” Ford said in its public curiosity feedback to the ITC.
LG Chem to supply Tesla batteries in South Korea this year as demand grows