- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Ford Motor Co. and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation announced a joint venture Thursday to boost the automaker’s electric-vehicle production as President Biden pushes his green agenda and South Korean President Moon Jae-in tours Washington.

SK Innovation, which recently cleared a legal dispute with LG Energy to keep its plans for a Georgia factory on track, said it will provide 60 gigawatt-hours of power per year for the venture dubbed “BlueOvalSK.”

The deal “will play a pivotal role in fleshing out the electric vehicle value chain in the United States, a key objective of the current U.S. administration,” SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun said.

The move comes days after Mr. Biden championed his $174 billion electric-car push at a Ford plant in Michigan.

Ford CEO Jim Farley said the SK venture will help the automaker differentiate itself from the field.

“We will not cede our future to anyone else,” he said.

SK Innovation has invested heavily in Georgia and plans to finish its battery plant later this year, with another one on the way by 2023.

Other South Korean companies, including Samsung, LG Energy and Hyundai, are expected to use Mr. Moon’s trip to announce new investments in the U.S. and foster bilateral ties, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Mr. Biden is pushing to bolster domestic manufacturing without China’s help. South Korean companies can help the U.S. achieve its ambitions by delivering much-needed semiconductors and batteries, which are part of core Asian industries.

Mr. Moon, meanwhile, is expected to push for U.S. help in spurring South Korean production of COVID-19 vaccines.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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