Rep. Blackburn looks to block overseas transfer of government-funded energy research

Some members of Congress have argued that the sale should be blocked because it would allow China to benefit from a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy. That grant, which was about half used by A123, was meant to promote the development of green energy technologies.

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"We now have a situation where not only has A123 landed in bankruptcy proceedings but their taxpayer-funded technology could be handed over to the Chinese government," Blackburn said Tuesday. "We owe it to the American people to, at a minimum, scrutinize potential acquisitions to assess the threat to the United States and the loss of taxpayer funded intellectual property."

Blackburn's bill will be titled the Stop Mergers, Acquisitions, and Risky Takeovers Supplied by American Labor and Entrepreneurship (Smart Sale) Act. It would require companies that receive Department of Energy research grants to notify the government if they might be acquired by a "non-allied foreign nation."

It would also require the Department of Energy to report to Congress on whether the acquisition represents a threat to the United States, Blackburn said.

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