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New documents reveal Gotion has ties with slave labor practices and genocide

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(The Center Square) – Illinois U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, says in a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion has ties with companies directly linked to slave labor genocide of Uyghurs.

In the letter, LaHood said companies like Gotion are committing horrific crimes and are getting American taxpayer money.

“As companies linked to the [Chinese Communist Party] receive billions of taxpayer dollars in federal and state subsidies, we have an obligation to ensure they abide by federal law and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” LaHood said in a statement. “The Select Committee’s investigation reveals damning information about the entanglement of Gotion’s supply chains in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Select Committee and my office will continue to conduct necessary oversight to protect Illinois taxpayers from the influence of these malign activities and human rights violations.”

Echoing LaHood’s comments is Amanda Piker, one of many Manteno citizens suing Gotion.

“We should not be giving taxpayer money to people who are using slave labor in their own country. We are essentially promoting slave labor by supporting their industry. We cannot be supportive of something that is criminal against humanity,” said Piker.

One company tied to Gotion is the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, LaHood said. The company is known for egregious forced labor practices. LaHood said if Gotion doesn’t cut ties with supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang, they could run a high risk of violating U.S. law.

Last week while giving remarks at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce meeting, Gov. J.B. Pritzker touted Gotion’s arrival to Manteno, Illinois.

“Just last year, we attracted two of the largest manufacturing wins, Gotion and Stellantis, in more than two decades for the state of Illinois, which will add more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs,” said Pritzker.

Pritzker said his administration has “special focus” on what companies they’re giving tax breaks to.

“We have put a special focus on industries of the future, pursuing a path to long-term sustainable growth,” said Pritzker

Gotion is set to get more than $530 million in Illinois tax incentives with hundreds of millions more from federal tax funds.

Piker said the governor is lying about Gotion bringing jobs to Illinois.

According to the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois (“REV”) Tax Credit agreement, Gotion still receives their state tax breaks and in return all Gotion has to do is provide 150 jobs by 2028.

Manteno’s unemployment rate is lower than the national and state’s unemployment rate.

“What jobs do we need in Manteno?” said Piker.

Piker is sure the documentation LaHood shared showing Gotion’s alleged ties to slave labor practices will be admitted as evidence in their case challenging Gotion’s plans in Kankakee County.

“It’s documented and we now have the actual proof of what is happening and how can we support that in our country?” said Piker.

Gotion filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit but the plaintiffs filed in opposition to the motion. The next court hearing is July 15.

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