LG Energy Solution Co., the South Korean company that supplies EV batteries to Tesla Inc. and others, said it expects to meet with SK Innovation Co. soon to talk about a settlement after the International Trade Commission banned imports of the latter company’s products to the U.S. for 10 years.
Any agreement on compensation will depend on how authentic SK Innovation’s proposal is, Woongjae Han, senior vice president of LG Energy’s legal department, said during a briefing in Seoul on Thursday. LG Energy isn’t considering engaging in legal action with other companies, he said.
The International Trade Commission on Wednesday ruled against SK Innovation, dealing a potential blow to efforts by Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen Group to ramp up production of electric vehicles.
SK Innovation will be able to import components for four years for domestic battery production for Ford’s EV F-150 launching next year, and for Volkswagen’s American MEB line for two years, to give the automakers time to transition to new domestic suppliers, it said.
On Thursday, Ford CEO Jim Farley publicly encouraged LG Chem and SK Innovation to reach a settlement.
"A voluntary settlement between these two suppliers is ultimately in the best interest of U.S. manufacturers and workers," Farley wrote on Twitter.
The ruling, which also casts doubt on the future of SK Innovation’s under-construction battery plant in Commerce, Ga., came after LG Chem Ltd., the parent company of LG Energy, accused SK Innovation of stealing its battery-making secrets.
“We have met with SK Innovation since last year but we have not been able narrow our differences,” Han said on Thursday. “But now that the ITC has made its ruling, we expect to resume talks soon.”