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South Korean EV battery groups are committed to resolving US conflicts

South Korean EV battery groups are committed to resolving US conflicts

Two of South Korea’s largest conglomerates have reached a recent deal on a multi-billion dollar intellectual property dispute as Ford and Volkswagen threatened to suspend it with plans to build electric vehicles in the U.S.

The agreement reached between battery manufacturers LG and SK comes after the US International Trade Commission in February He stepped up a 10-year import ban About SK Innovation, allegations made by Korean rivals about illegally acquiring sensitive technology.

SK will pay LG Won2tn ($ 1.8 billion) through cash and cash flow, the company said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The agreement sets a deadline for Joe Biden to make a decision until Sunday night a rare overwriting for the presidency The ITC’s decision to avoid disruptions in automotive investment plans and protect the jobs of thousands of workers.

Raphael Warnock, a Democratic senator from Georgia who pushed for the Biden administration and companies involved in the conflict, said the resolution would “help the local economy move forward.”

“It has always been clear that the best way to protect workers in trade – and jobs promised by Georgians – is for the participating companies to negotiate the agreement in good faith,” he said.

Under the agreement, the companies also agreed to suspend all litigation and promised not to file a lawsuit over the next 10 years.

The ITC resolution gave a grace period to give companies time to switch suppliers. But the industry argued that the import ban would hamper plans to launch electric and hybrid vehicles for motorists and eventually slow the transition to environmentally friendly vehicles.

German VW and U.S. Ford have contracts to buy batteries for Georgia SKI’s new electric vehicle battery plant, and the Korean group has invested $ 2.6 million. The plant is said to be the largest investment in the history of the southern state, expected to provide 2,600 jobs and 330,000 net of power per vehicle, including a fully electric Ford F-150 truck.

The settlement is also the latest turning point in a year-long battle between South Korea’s two fierce rivalries. chaebol that became a shame for the Seoul government.

LG’s battery unit – which was previously part of LG Chem but has since been incorporated into LG Energy Solution – has been accused of SKI failing to properly secure contract profits with car manufacturers based on stolen technology.

The ITC lawsuit was launched after failed efforts in local courts.

SKI has filed allegations and pressured the White House to lift the ban.

For its part, LG last month announced investment plans $ 4.5 billion in the U.S. by 2025, creating more than 10,000 jobs to dispel fears of a SKI import ban.

ITC also has it lambasted Ford despite proving that he had misused trade secrets for making deals with SK.

The South Korean trade ministry welcomed the decision on Sunday.

Seoul’s top officials, including Chung Sye-kyun, the country’s prime minister, have been pushing companies for months to reach an agreement. However, in early March the two sides appeared to be far behind in the face of a potential settlement figure, with LG executives saying the difference was around $ 1 billion.

Additional reports by Song Jung, Kiran Stacey and Peggy Hollinger

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