Batteries for the electric F-150 may be in short supply due to an import dispute involving the Korean supplier Ford is using.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) has banned Korea-based SK Innovation from importing batteries to the US for 10 years, according to Bloomberg. The ruling comes as a result of an accusation from Korea-based LG Chem, accusing SK Innovation of stealing trade secrets. The seemingly harsh ban was the result of SK Innovation destroying evidence LG Chem needed to prove its case.
The ITC did provide a grace period to give automakers, including Ford and Volkswagen, time to make alternate arrangements. SK Innovation can import components for the F-150 for four years, and for the Volkswagen’s MEB line for two years.
There are two factors that could play to SK Innovation’s favor. The company is building a factory in Georgia that will become operational later this year. While some components are still slated to be imported, when faced with a 10-year ban, the company may try to move all production to the US.
As Bloomberg highlights, President Biden could also overrule the ITC’s decision on public policy grounds. Given the front-and-center focus climate change and green energy is taking in the new administration, it’s entirely possible SK Innovation’s ban may be seen as too damaging to electric vehicle endeavors.