Sensitive military technology company sold to Chinese despite warnings

a123-battery-systemsThe Treasury Department agreed Tuesday to sell a bankrupted company that manufactured sensitive military and commercial technology to a business based in China.

The government approved the sale of A123 Systems to the Shanghai-based Wanxiang firm, despite pleas from lawmakers and military insiders to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to nix the sale. The committee, chartered by the Treasury Dept., has not yet offered an explanation for its decision, according to Human Events.

A123 Systems gained notoriety last year when it filed for bankruptcy after having received approximately $132 million of a $249 million grant, almost $1 million of it coming the same day of the bankruptcy filing.

“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,” Dean Popps, co-chairman of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council, told Human Events. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States “has recognized this strategy but continues to fail to do anything to prevent it.”

The sale’s approval is curious, since it comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s inaugural-day pledge not to “cede to other nations’ critical energy technology,” Popps said.

“Far from protecting America’s lead, as the president promised on the west front of the Capitol, his administration has just allowed China to leapfrog the world in advanced batteries at the expense of American taxpayers,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., said Tuesday it’s clear the technology acquired by Wanxiang has both civilian and military applications, according to an AOL story.

“It is also apparent that this technology was developed using taxpayer dollars through President Obama’s stimulus program and is now falling into the hands of a foreign company,” Huizenga said. “American taxpayers should not be funding technology that will in turn be used in competition against American companies.”

In response to the flap, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn,R-Tenn., introduced legislation earlier this month requiring safeguards on future decisions by the committee.
The following clip is a Fox News clip of the issue:

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Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.