SK plants in Commerce

SK facilities under construction in Commerce.

As a Sunday deadline approached, SK Battery agreed to a settlement with LG Chem over a contentious dispute that had endangered the future of SK's massive EV battery plants in Commerce.

According to Bloomberg News, SK agreed to pay $1.8 billion to LG Chem in the trade dispute to settle the case.

In February, the International Trade Commission had ruled against SK in the dispute and imposed harsh sanctions which threatened the future of the firm's new battery plants under construction in Commerce. 

SK had lobbied the Biden Administration to overturn the ITC's ruling and threatened to pull out of the U.S. market if the ruling were upheld.

At stake was SK's $2.6 billion investment in the plants and 2,600 jobs in Northeast Georgia.

Still, some observers seemed wary that Biden would overturn the ITC ruling. In a recent Zoom call with members of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, officials with Sen. Raphael Warnock's office encouraged a settlement in the dispute, saying that SK's reliance on a presidential intervention wasn't a good strategy.

Jackson County officials had watched the case closely. The county, along with the state, had agreed to a large incentives package to lure SK to Commerce as the nexus of a high-tech industrial boom in the Northeast Georgia area.

A number of state officials lined up to take credit for the deal.

Gov. Brian Kemp also gave kudos to local officials in an April 10 statement:

“The announcement of a settlement between SK innovation and LG Energy Solution is fantastic news for northeast Georgia and our state’s growing electric vehicle industry," said Kemp. "Our state attracted this massive $2.6 billion investment because of Georgia’s pro-growth leadership, and I have personally participated in countless meetings, calls, and other conversations to make sure this project and the 2,600 expected jobs continued to move forward. I want to offer a special thank you to local leadership in Jackson County and the city of Commerce, our incredible partners with the government of South Korea both here and in Seoul, as well as the Office of the United States Trade Representative for assisting the two companies through the settlement negotiations process.”


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