Batteries Not Included: Biden Carves Out Major Exception to Investment Restrictions in China

Chinese batteries are crucial to Biden’s long-promised 'clean energy economy'

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January 12, 2023

The Biden administration is set to exclude electric batteries from its impending executive order meant to limit U.S. investment in Chinese technology, a move that comes as it plans a "clean energy economy" that relies heavily on Chinese batteries.

The executive order, which is expected to be unveiled in the coming months, imposes new controls on the types of Chinese technology U.S. corporations and investment firms can support. While those controls were expected to extend to electric batteries, the Biden administration is now moving to exclude Chinese battery technology from the new limits, Axios reported Thursday morning.

That's likely because the administration needs Chinese batteries to usher in its green energy revolution. China dominates the electric battery supply chain, and President Joe Biden has thus far delayed and outright killed U.S. mining projects that could yield the materials required to ease China's grip on the industry. Still, Biden in 2021 released a plan to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric, a move the Democrat's administration said would "support good-paying, union jobs across American supply chains."

Biden is no stranger to the electric car industry's reliance on China. The Democrat last year showcased Ford's electric truck and Mustang—the U.S. automaker in July announced it would import lithium batteries for the vehicles from China.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.