Experts say it’s a subtle example of how the U.S. intends to offset Beijing’s influence over a once-in-a-lifetime technological change
The U.S. government’s decision to tie a generous electric-vehicle subsidy to inputs from friendly countries was an obvious attempt to shift the EV supply chains away from China.
But the power of the purse isn’t the only strategy available to Washington. The Biden administration in late September added lithium-ion batteries from China to the U.S. Labor Department’s list of products derived from child and forced labour, a more subtle example of how the United States intends to offset Beijing’s influence over a once-in-a-lifetime technological change, some industry insiders say.
The Labor Department said China imports almost 90 per cent of its cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where a significant amount of the mineral is produced through informal mines that employ children.
The Asian powerhouse uses about 50 to 80 per cent of its cobalt imports to make battery chemicals and components, justification enough for including Chinese batteries among items produced with child labour, the Labor Department said.
For the rest of this article: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/china-lithium-ion-batteries-child-labour-us-trade-war