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Opposition grows to proposed Chinese battery plant subsidized by taxpayers

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(The Center Square) – Opposition is building against a proposed Chinese battery plant for Manteno in Kankakee County.

Gotion Incorporated, with reported ties to the Chinese Communist Party, is set to receive more than $7 billion in federal tax credits, and over $500 million in subsidies from Illinois.

During a news conference Monday in Manteno, State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said the tax incentives don’t add up.

“The total subsidies for the plant calculate to an astounding $3 million for each job created,” Halbrook said. “Why are U.S. taxpayers providing $8 billion in economic incentives for the construction of a plant that costs $2 billion to build?”

The plant will produce battery cells and battery packs designed to be used in electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage systems.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called the agreement “the most significant new manufacturing investment in Illinois in decades.”

Many Manteno residents were highly critical of the Gotion plant during the village’s last board meeting, as residents were with a similar Gotion project in Michigan.

Former Congressman and U.S. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra chaired the House Intelligence Committee. He is also involved with the opposition to the Michigan plant.

“History lesson number one, China is our enemy, they are not a competitor,” Hoekstra said. “They seek to destroy us and our communities.”

Pritzker has described Republican opposition to the closed-door deal with Gotion as political grandstanding and called detractors “xenophobic.”

“This has become a standard practice for this governor, the petulant name calling to deflect any time he doesn’t want to answer a question,” state Sen. John Curran told Fox News Digital.

The proposed plant, which state officials said will create 2,600 jobs, is slated to begin production in 2024.

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