President’s Trip to Michigan Highlights Korean Investment

By July 12, 2010Economy, Energy

President Obama is scheduled to participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday at LG Chem’s advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, Mich. The Koreans are paying attention. From Chosun Ilbo‘s English-language news site, “Obama to Attend Groundbreaking for LG Chem Plant in U.S.“:

U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for an LG Chem plant in Holland, Michigan, the company said Sunday. It is very unusual for an incumbent U.S. president to appear at such an event for a foreign company, and it is the first time for a Korean firm.

LG is investing US$300 million to build the plant which will produce batteries for electric vehicles. First-phase commercial production is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012, and once completed in 2013 the plant will churn out lithium ion cells for 200,000 hybrid cars annually….[snip]

As part of efforts to revive the auto industry by bringing more green vehicles to the road, the U.S. government has lent considerable support to LG’s Holland plant, including $151 million from a federal stimulus program. The Michigan state government also offered tax cuts worth $130 million, which together with the stimulus funds will almost offset LG’s entire construction costs.

The focus will be on advanced batteries,  “clean energy,” the “green economy,” etc., but one hopes the President also remarks on the importance of foreign investment in creating jobs in the U.S. economy. The company’s U.S. subsidiary is Compact Power, Inc. (Blog summary.) News accounts…

We appreciate the ceremonial and political component to the scheduling of the President’s trip this week. For one thing, it helps the locals recover from Holland’s shattering loss in the World Cup.

For a real boost, the President should returns for a visit next May, during Tulip Time. March in the parade, Mr. President!

Leave a Reply