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LG-SK 배터리분쟁 전격 합의 발표 , 바이든 거부권 시한 앞두고 모든 소송 취하 … 뉴욕증시 환호

김대호 연구소장

기사입력 : 2021-04-11 03:26


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LG-SK의 배터리 분쟁 전격 타결돼다. 바이든 거부권 시한 앞두고 상호 모든 소송 취하하기로 한 것이다. 배터리 전쟁합의 소식에 뉴욕증시가 환호하고 있다.


배터리 분쟁을 벌여온 LG와 SK가 전격 합의했다고 블룸버그와 로이터통신이 잇달아보도했다.

11일 뉴욕증시에 따르면 LG 화학과 경쟁사인 SK이노베이션이 그동안의 모든 소송을 취하하기로 합의했다.

합의의 조건은 SK이노베이션이 LG화학측에 수조원 상당을 배상하는 것이다.

이 소식이 알려진 후 뉴욕증시에서는 나스닥 기술주 등이 환호하는 분위기이다..

미국 국제무역위원회(ITC)는 지난 2월 LG가 SK를 상대로 낸 영업비밀 침해 분쟁에서 LG측 손을 들어줬다.

조 바이든 미국 대통령의 거부권 행사 시한은 한국시간 12일 이다.

다음은 LG화학과 SK가 전격 합의에 관한 블룸버그 보도

The South Korean supplier of electric vehicle batteries in the U.S. for Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG has reached a last-minute deal with its chief rival, said people familiar with the situation.

Saturday’s move averts a 10-year import ban on SK Innovation Co.’s products and protects thousands of jobs in the politically important state of Georgia.

The companies had no immediate comment.

The U.S. International Trade Commission had issued the import ban Feb. 10 based on what it called an “extraordinary” effort by SK Innovation to destroy evidence in a trade-secret case lodged by fellow South Korean rival LG Chem Ltd.’s LG Energy Solution Co. unit.

The ITC did carve out time to let SK Innovation import components for batteries to be assembled in Georgia for Ford and Volkswagen vehicles.

The ban was scheduled to take effect April 11, unless President Joe Biden overturned it on public policy grounds. South Korea government officials and Biden administration pushed the companies to reach an agreement instead.

The case prompted an extraordinary effort to lobby the Biden administration, with near-daily meetings over the past weeks involving officials from a dozen government agencies and officials from both companies and the automakers, as well as Georgian politicians on both sides of the political aisle.

EV Push

SK Innovation argued the order would undermine Biden’s push for more American-made electric vehicles as part an effort to combat climate change. LG Energy, which makes batteries for General Motors Co. in Michigan, said such a decision would weaken policies to protect trade secrets -- a long-standing issue in U.S. talks with China -- and that the carve-outs ensures Ford and Volkswagen had time to adjust.

The commission said it had already taken the president’s policies into account when fashioning a carve-out that allows SK Innovation to bring in components needed for Ford’s EV F-150 pickup for four years, and for Volkswagen’s American ID.4 SUV line for two years. Neither carmaker was appeased.

LG Energy accused SK Innovation of stealing billions of dollars’ worth of crucial information on how to make batteries, enabling it to win the contracts from Ford and Volkswagen. SK Innovation denied receiving or using any confidential information from the LG Energy employees it hired.

SK Innovation is nearing completion of one facility in Georgia and is already making battery samples, while a second facility is about 20% complete and projected to be done next year. A second phase is planned that would bring SK Innovation’s total investment to about $5 billion and create 6,000 jobs, the company has said.

Non-Captive Plant

In addition to making the batteries for Ford and Volkswagen, the SK Innovation plant would be the nation’s largest so-called non-captive plant, meaning it would be able to adapt for other manufacturers, the company has said.

LG, which is building an additional plant with GM in Ohio in addition to its facility in Holland, Michigan, has announced plans plans to invest $4.5 billion in the U.S. by 2025 and hire 10,000 workers to expand battery capacity.

Creating more U.S.-based manufacturing is critical because the automakers want components close to their assembly plants, especially since a shortage of computer chips has highlighted vulnerabilities for global supply chains.

Biden has committed to creating more American-made manufacturing, particularly to compete with China. The Asian nation makes 73% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries compared with 12% by No. 2 U.S., Jonathan Jennings, Ford’s global commodity pricing vice president, told the Senate Finance Committee on March 16.

Calibrating ‘Consequences’

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, have raised concerns the import ban would lead to the shutdown of SK Innovation’s new plant.


김대호 글로벌이코노믹 연구소장 tiger8280@g-enews.com

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