An International Trade Commission ruling that could scuttle upwards of 2,000 jobs in Georgia offers President Donald Trump an opportunity to intervene and boost his electoral prospects in a must-win state.
The pending decision from the ITC centers on a patent dispute between two Korean companies, LG Chem and SK Innovation, that supply electric car batteries for U.S. companies—and an unfavorable decision for SKI would scuttle its shiny new manufacturing plant that will employ thousands of Georgia residents. The plant has already signed a contract to supply batteries to a Volkswagen plant in neighboring Tennessee.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, the ITC is inclined to rule against SKI on Oct. 26, when a decision is expected. But the president has two months to review all ITC decisions, as well as the power to reverse them. A move like that would provide Trump a potential avenue to save thousands of local jobs in a key swing state just a week before an election where the state of Georgia will play a pivotal role not just in the presidential race but in Republicans' quest to hold the Senate.
Georgia is host to two Senate races, both considered must-wins for Republicans. Sen. David Perdue (R., Georgia) currently leads Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff by less than a point in the RealClearPolitics polling average. In the other race, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R., Georgia) has consistently lagged behind her Democratic challenger, Rev. Raphael Warnock.
The presidential race is neck-in-neck in the Peach State, where Democrats have funneled resources for several years now in a bid to turn the historically red state blue. Biden currently leads Trump by one percentage point in the RealClearPolitics average, though a reversal of the ITC decision later this month could help the president close the gap.