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Oversight Republicans warn Biden’s electric vehicle push will benefit China and hurt American jobs

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EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Committee Republicans are warning that the Biden administration’s push for electric vehicles will benefit Chinese technology companies and hurt American jobs.

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the 16 lawmakers led by committee Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., write that they are examining “the false claims” made by the Biden administration regarding the impact of electric cars on U.S. jobs.

“As the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and an advocate for Americans’ widespread adoption of  EVs [electric vehicles], your agency is in a position to explain how Ford’s actions help American workers and the economy,” they write in the letter, first obtained by Fox News Digital.

Biden set a goal of having electric vehicles make up half of all vehicle sales in America by 2030, and the Department of Energy announced in May more than $3 billion in funding to bolster supply chains and expand domestic production of advanced batteries in an effort to meet that goal.

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As a result, according to reports, Ford Motor Co. is planning to cut as many as 8,000 jobs as the company looks to make its way in the electric car market. The company also announced that it will obtain electric vehicle batteries from a Chinese company–Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL).

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the 16 lawmakers led by committee Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., write that they are examining “the false claims” made by the Biden administration regarding the impact of electric cars on U.S. jobs.
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Poo)

“CATL alone ‘holds one-third of the global electric-car-battery market.’ This raises concerns about whether the push for EVs over gas-fueled vehicles will make America even more reliant on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) instead of American energy resources,” the lawmakers write.

They call the reliance of American manufacturers on CATL “particularly troubling” because the company is “influential in the Chinese government.”

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The Republicans write: “CATL is considering two factories in Mexico to produce batteries for Ford and other vehicle manufacturers. It is troubling that the Administration-endorsed EV future is already eliminating American jobs while benefiting China.”

In addition, the lawmakers question the Biden administration’s “mixed messages” regarding energy policies – blaming companies for “both producing too much oil and not enough.  

FILE – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“You are a vocal supporter of a shift towards EVs and encourage Americans to make the change.  In testimony before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, you stated the rise of domestic clean energy production is ‘creating a lot of jobs.’ However, the actions taken by Ford confirm the opposite is true, and the people benefiting most from the Biden Administration’s push for EVs are not Americans but our foreign adversaries,” the letter states.

The lawmakers ask for a briefing by the secretary before Aug. 31 to address the loss of American jobs and the benefit to China.

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During a recent House hearing, Buttigieg told Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., that “the more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicle.”

A spokesperson for Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Fox News Digital previously that the secretary “has always made clear the Administration’s efforts to make electric vehicles cheaper to purchase so that more Americans can have access to the economic and climate benefits that EVs offer.”(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

However, critics have said this shows how little regard the Biden administration has for the working class.

“We’re for cutting the costs of electric vehicles — because when you have an electric vehicle, then you’re also going to be able to save on gas, but you’ve got to be able to afford it in the first place,” Buttigieg explained to Big Boy’s Neighborhood radio show in Los Angeles in a July interview.

A spokesperson for Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Fox News Digital previously that the secretary “has always made clear the Administration’s efforts to make electric vehicles cheaper to purchase so that more Americans can have access to the economic and climate benefits that EVs offer.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation told Fox News Digital the agency looks to reviewing the letter, and it is their policy to respond directly to committees.

Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report.

Kelly Laco is a politics editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Kelly.Laco@Fox.com and on Twitter: @kelly_laco.