LaTurner concerned about China-based manufacturer locating in Johnson County

Topeka — U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner said the federal government should investigate a company planning to locate a $94.7 million manufacturing plant in Johnson County for potentially subversive ties to the Chinese government’s campaign to access U.S. supply chains in proximity to military installations.

LaTurner, a Republican serving the 2nd District of eastern Kansas, recommended officials in the administration of President Joe Biden examine Cnano Technology USA, which announced plans for a 330,000-square-foot facility to make liquid conductive paste used in power tools, cell phones and vehicle batteries. The project would create more than 100 jobs and operate with a payroll of $7.1 million.

“Cnano USA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a clear threat to America’s national and economic security,” LaTurner said. “The Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to infiltrate American supply chains and gain insight into our most critical military operations.”

LaTurner said in a letter Monday the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, should explore the issue along with officials in the U.S. Department of Defense. The letter to CFIUS, which is in the U.S. Department of Treasury, said the plant would be within proximity of military installations, including Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

The congressman said Cnano USA’s parent company in China had ties to the Chinese Communist Party or CCP. He asserted the company was part of a program in China designed to acquire U.S. technology useful in development of China’s military capabilities.

CFIUS is a federal agency responsible for reviewing investments in sensitive U.S. businesses and those controlled by foreign individuals.

“I have strong concerns about granting a company with proven and significant ties to the CCP permission to operate as a critical component supplier to the burgeoning field of electronics and battery production and within such close proximity to United States’ military bases,” LaTurner said.

In August, the Kansas City Area Development Council announced Cnano USA would locate its facility at New Century Commerce Center in Johnson County. The building to be occupied was created as part of a public-private partnership. Shawn Montgomery, president of Cnano USA, said the company was “proud to bring cutting-edge technology, investment dollars and, most importantly, jobs to the region.”


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