A decision in a dispute involving two battery manufacturers, one of whom is set to soon open a factory employing thousands of Georgians, has been punted to December creating fresh pressure on Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler heading into next week’s election.
Perdue is facing off in the general against progressive darling Jon Ossoff.
For Loeffler, next week brings a primary that will decide whether she faces Democrat Raphael Warnock on January 5 or whether that honor goes to Rep. Doug Collins.
The dispute involves alleged theft of trade secrets belonging to LG Chem by South Korean company SK Innovation.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) was originally set to issue a decision on Monday, but now has pushed a decision back to December.
Virtually every observer expects the ITC to rule against SK Innovation, and if it does and President Trump does not intervene within 60 days of the decision, 2,600 jobs in Georgia will be lost.
Because of the overwhelming presumption that the ITC will rule against SK, it is widely understood that as it stands, those 2,600 jobs – situated in Collins’ district – are toast and that Perdue and Loeffler are powerless to save them.
Both Perdue and Loeffler would probably have been better served by the ITC issuing an unfavorable decision on Monday, and President Trump swiftly moving to overrule the ITC this week.
However, that is now no longer possible – though between the decision coming down in December and the January election for the seat currently held by Loeffler, Trump could intervene and demonstrate his own commitment to jobs, foreign investment and keeping a Republican Senate majority, and Loeffler and Collins’ personal clout with him.
In the event that Trump loses re-election next week, reversing the decision could be an important legacy item for the President, both in terms of results of American workers and in terms of bolstering the GOP at the exact time it may need an assist to remain competitive.
The decision will come on December 10, as currently scheduled.
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