On Tuesday, in a statement South Korea’s SK Innovation Co Ltd said it is considering all options which includes pulling out of its battery business in the United States if U.S. President Joe Biden does not overturn a trade panel’s decision against it by April 11.
“The company has been consulting with experts to discuss ways to withdraw our battery business from the United States,” said SK Innovation’s spokeswoman. “We are reviewing options to move our U.S. battery production to Europe or China, which would cost us tens of billions of won”.
SK Innovation and LG Chem’s wholly owned battery division, LG Energy Solution, have been locked in a dispute over claims SK misappropriated trade secrets related to electric vehicle battery technology.
Last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) sided with LG, and issued a limited 10-year exclusion order prohibiting imports into the United States of SK’s lithium-ion batteries. That ruling would become invalid if the two companies agree a settlement.
ITC’s ruling against SK can also be overturned by Biden.
Last week, SK filed a motion to the ITC requesting it to not enforce its February ruling, calling the orders “catastrophic”.
“The Commission’s orders destroy the economic viability of SK’s investment in battery production in Georgia and will rationally and inevitably lead to its abandonment,” said SK in a filing.