US-Chinese trade war is heating up after a US trade commission approved the sale of two battery manufacturers to China’s Lenovo.
The decision by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to approve the sale came after months of wrangling.
US-EU trade talks between the US and China began in January and are expected to continue until 2019.
The US-based lithium ion batteries maker, Electro-Motive, and Chinese battery manufacturer Lenovo, which is part of the Chinese arm of the state-owned China National Lithium Corp, were approved by the ITC.
Both companies had been in talks for several years to get a deal approved, with the US taking the lead in trying to get them approved.
The deal, which could raise the value of the two companies to $10bn, is the first of its kind in the US.
The new deal was approved by a three-member commission, the ITCA.
“The sale of the Electro-Motor, Electro Motive, is a major milestone in the long-term strategy of the US-UK alliance,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement.
“This agreement builds on the momentum created in our recent trade agreement with China.”
Both companies will receive US$100m for each battery.
“These two companies have a long history of building leading edge products and we look forward to their continued success in the United States,” said Lighthiser.
The two companies are jointly owned by China’s Huawei Technologies, which also makes Li-ion batteries.
The Chinese company said the deal would help it to compete with rival companies like Apple, Microsoft and others.
“Today’s approval of the sale will further help us compete and advance our development strategy, including the development of products that can be sold to the US market,” said Huawei’s vice president of manufacturing, Jiang Zongyi.
“We are confident that we can build a long-lasting, competitive and innovative partnership in the future.”
Li-air batteries are used in vehicles, cars, electronic devices, industrial equipment and medical equipment.
The batteries have been widely used in the automotive industry, where they provide a high energy density for batteries, but have also been used for high energy efficiency.
However, they have been plagued by a variety of safety and environmental concerns.
Earlier this year, the US government imposed new safety regulations for Li-Air batteries after a number of fires in China, prompting the US to suspend its approval of Li-A batteries for commercial use.
The company is seeking to win approval to manufacture its own Li-An batteries for use in electric vehicles.
“With this sale, the Chinese Government will be able to leverage the immense potential of our products in order to expand its market,” Mr Li said in a joint statement with the Chinese company.
The move comes amid ongoing trade talks in the Trump administration, which have seen US President Donald Trump’s administration and the US’s top trade negotiator, Robert Larkin, push for a deal that would allow US firms to get Chinese goods.
“I think it’s very important that we have a successful US-British relationship, and that is why we have to be very careful in the next couple of months,” Mr Larkin said.
“Because it would be very hard to have a good US-Canadian relationship if we are not trading with each other.”
Mr Lighthuster said the agreement between the two countries would make it easier for the two sides to work together.
“For the past few years, we have been in a very tough relationship with China.
They have been interfering in our domestic affairs, including through our elections,” he said.