Sen. Ossoff jumpstarted negotiations that were at an impasse a week ago to secure a deal and save 2,600 Georgia jobs
SK President and CEO: “When the future of the plant was in jeopardy, Senator Ossoff provided leadership and helped us achieve a path forward.”
Washington, D.C. — Today, Georgia’s U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff announced a deal has been reached between SK International and LG Energy Solutions to protect an estimated 2,600 skilled jobs in Commerce, GA.
Over multiple meetings with senior executives from both companies and in close consultation with senior Biden Administration officials, Sen. Ossoff jumpstarted negotiations that were at an impasse a week ago to secure a deal and save 2,600 Georgia jobs, working behind the scenes to secure a settlement that saved the Georgia battery plant ahead of the April 11 presidential veto deadline.
“A week ago, talks between these companies had stalled and 2,600 Georgia jobs were at risk. My team and I led the effort to re-open negotiations and secure a settlement that has saved the battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, ensuring thousands of jobs, billions in future investment, and that Georgia will be a leader in electric vehicle battery production for years to come,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“I am appreciative that leadership at both SKI and LGES were willing to communicate daily with me and my team over the last week to jumpstart negotiations and resolve the impasse that threatened thousands of Georgia jobs. I am also thankful to President Biden’s team and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai for their partnership in this effort,”Sen. Ossoff continued.
SKI CEO and President Jun Kim praised Senator Ossoff’s diligent work to secure this deal. Kim said, “When the future of the plant was in jeopardy, Senator Ossoff provided leadership and helped us achieve a path forward. This successful outcome will lead to billions more in investment in Georgia. The state is now positioned to be the nation’s leader in electric vehicle battery production.”
Additional background from an Ossoff Spokesperson:
- Senator Jon Ossoff intervened personally and aggressively over the last week in stalemated negotiations between SK and LG, working behind the scenes to bring the two companies back to the negotiating table to secure a settlement that saved the Georgia battery plant and 2,600 Georgia jobs.
- With just 10 days until Biden’s deadline, Sen. Ossoff’s analysis was that the only path to saving the Georgia plant was a negotiated settlement between the two companies.
- Sen. Ossoff had already met with the SK CEO and LG’s U.S. President, senior Biden Administration officials, and South Korean government officials about the matter, and he knew the companies were at an impasse. With the clock ticking and thousands of Georgia jobs on the line, action was needed to bring the parties back to the table and chart a course toward a deal.
- So with Congress in recess, on Friday April 2nd, Sen. Ossoff flew from Atlanta to Washington D.C. and met with the SK CEO for over three hours, stressing the importance of a negotiated settlement and laying out several potential paths to a deal.
- Following Sen. Ossoff’s meeting with the SK CEO and at Sen. Ossoff’s urging, the talks between the companies restarted.
- On Monday, Sen. Ossoff met virtually with the LG CEO (who was in Seoul) for over 90 minutes, similarly urging negotiations continue in good faith, and working to frame new possible solutions to the impasse.
- At Sen. Ossoff’s request, both companies briefed the Senator’s staff multiple times per day so his staff could suggest new directions to break frequent impasses in the talks.
- The Senator was in frequent contact with senior Biden Administration officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, as he strategized with the Administration to sustain daily pressure on both firms to continue negotiations.
- On Friday night, Sen. Ossoff was concerned talks had broken down again. The companies had made hundreds of millions of dollars of progress toward a settlement, but seemed unable to take the final step to meet in the middle. Nevertheless, Ossoff and his office were unrelenting in their pressure on both firms to reach a deal.
- After a marathon Friday-Saturday negotiating session between the two companies, on Saturday morning, a deal was within reach. President Biden called Senator Ossoff Saturday afternoon to confirm a settlement had been reached and thank him for his help.