Republican governor makes strong accusation against Ford — and it could help Michigan

Michigan is a potential front-runner for a massive new economic development deal, thanks in part to the Virginia governor suggesting Ford Motor Co. and a partner

company are conduits for communism and the Chinese government. The ripple effects of this business and political decision from Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a

Republican, will have a real impact on the Dearborn automaker and the people of Michigan, economic and political analysts tell the Free Press. In the short

term, it may give Michigan the leg up to land another huge deal: Reports indicate the Virginia plan Youngkin turned down was a $3.5 billion battery plant with the possibility of

2,500 jobs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state leaders aren't talking about this project at the moment, but according to other news reports and a source close to the

negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly, the state is in the running for the site and state leaders have championed others that involved Chinese-owned

companies. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. The dynamic situation also foreshadows a political climate that

may drastically change how Ford and other electric vehicle manufacturers, at times reliant on Chinese companies, operate in the U.S. And it sets the stage for China-bashing by

politicians jockeying for the next election cycle. That's a twist unlikely to benefit Michigan businesses or workers, argued former Gov. Rick Snyder, who called

Youngkin's battery plant decision "overreaching."