LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, on Thursday issued the following statement after the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a measure to use taxpayer dollars to support Gotion Inc., a Chinese-based company’s proposed battery parts plant in Big Rapids:
“I have been fighting against this project since it was first proposed during my time in the House of Representatives.
“Company officials have routinely left questions unanswered, and concerns from both lawmakers and state residents have not been addressed. This isn’t a way to forge a relationship, and I don’t believe Gotion has earned the trust of state residents, which is a critical part of this development being successful.
“Everyone wants to help bring good jobs to our state and to grow our economy — that is something we all can stand behind — but we must be smart about which projects we support, especially when using taxpayer dollars.
“As the relationship between the U.S. and China continues to deteriorate, this proposal also puts national security concerns on the table. The state should be checking every single box as we do our due diligence prior to advancing the state-funded development of a foreign company.
“I sit on the Senate Committee on Appropriations and have been directly involved in this process. This proposal is riddled with unanswered questions and concerns — and company officials have done little to rectify this.
“I have worked hard to help American businesses thrive, to drive American ingenuity and help grow America’s presence in the global economy. I welcome investment in Michigan as we attempt to rebuild our manufacturing capabilities, but we must be very careful not to give an even greater foothold to countries who are aggressively confronting U.S. interests at home and abroad.
“For these reasons and more, I remain opposed to this proposal and am disappointed in the committee’s actions today.”