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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Wanxiang America Corp.
Government-backed luxury carmaker Fisker Automotive has bought thousands of batteries from A123 Systems under an exclusive supply deal, but now the auto company may have to look for another power source for its high-end, plug-in hybrid Karma vehicles — and at a hefty cost.
Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls recently lost out to a Chinese competitor in its bid for bankrupt high-tech battery-maker A123 Systems, but creditors are still demanding details about whether a secret Johnson-led lobbying campaign took place behind the scenes in Washington aimed at derailing the sale.
The prospect of Massachusetts-based high-tech battery-maker A123 Systems landing in the hands of a Chinese competitor has angered some lawmakers, but a group of highly paid lawyers — including a former Senate staffer who earned more than $1,000 per-hour — kept the sale from falling apart amid mounting criticism on Capitol Hill.
The federal government approved a deal allowing a U.S. battery maker backed with tens of millions of dollars from the federal stimulus program to be purchased by a Chinese competitor, officials announced Tuesday.
Lobbyists are swarming on both sides of the pending sale of a U.S. battery-maker backed by more than $100 million in federal grants that soon could be in the hands of a Chinese competitor.
A House Republican announced plans Tuesday to introduce a bill to make sure that companies backed by federal Energy Department loans or grants pay the money back if they're going to be taken over by a "non-allied foreign nation."
Creditors of a bankrupt U.S. battery maker that went broke after winning a multimillion-dollar federal grant want permission to hire a lobbying firm to keep the proposed sale of the company to a Chinese competitor on track.