A Chinese company will take charge of sensitive military and battery technology following the Treasury Department’s decision on Tuesday to permit the sale of a U.S. company that was bankrolled with tax dollars to the Shanghai-based Wanxiang firm.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the $256 million sale of A123 Systems’ operation, despite warnings from military insiders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the sale presents a danger to national security.
A123 Systems, which went bankrupt despite the Obama administrations’ $249 million in green energy funding to produce advanced lithium ion batteries, controls 91 patents for the sensitive technology.
“The approved sale marks yet another step in the coordinated strategy by foreign countries to acquire leading U.S. companies who are researching, developing and producing critical technologies,” said Dean Popps, co-chairman of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council. “CFIUS itself has recognized this strategy but continues to fail to do anything to prevent it.” The committee has not made public its rationale for the decision.