Tell Warren Buffet to divest Chinese-owned electric car company

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett with daughter Susie.

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BYD is a China-based EV automobile company and stands for “Build Your Dreams.” The “dream” of this Chinese company to enter the U.S. market should never become a reality. Unfortunately, famous U.S. investor Warren Buffet has heavily backed it financially, hoping it – rather than an American-based auto company – will one day become the world’s leader in EV sales.

This unpatriotic investment by multi-billionaire Buffet, who would be more than financially fine without it, is somewhat ironic when you consider that he once criticized U.S. trade deficits in a 2003 article. Our U.S. trade deficit with China would only worsen if BYD could export its Chinese-made cars to America.

Even more confusing when considering Mr. Buffet’s supposed commitment to the United States, when the China Investment Corp., which is China’s largest sovereign-wealth fund, used almost $800 billion worth of its assets to acquire a Silicon Valley-focused venture fund, Buffet said such investments would result in the U.S. being “colonized by purchase rather than conquest.”

As of August 31, 2022, Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway sold 1.33 million BYD shares (BYD is listed in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong), reducing Berkshire’s stake in the Chinese company to 218.7 million shares from 220 million – a small percentage, to be sure. However, we should call for Buffet to divest all his shares in the Chinese company and support American-based companies instead. It’s the patriotic thing to do for any billionaire who professes to love America.

Warren Buffet should make a choice. He can be a billionaire who invests in Chinese companies or a billionaire who doesn’t. Either way, he will remain a billionaire.

The United States has allowed Warren Buffet to invest and prosper immensely. He surely does not need to invest in a communist country and its state-backed companies that seek to undermine American companies and America’s desire to lead an upcoming and vital industry. Dominance by China in any industry has national security implications.

BYD not only manufactures vehicles. It also produces its own batteries and semiconductors. It is now the world’s third-largest producer of EV batteries, commanding 14% of the international market. That puts the company behind South Korean-owned LG Energy Solution Ltd. and another Chinese rival – Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL). BYD already supplies EV batteries to Toyota Motor Corp., and Tesla will reportedly use BYD batteries for its Model Y.

Patriotic American consumers should avoid buying EVs with BYD-supplied batteries.

China’s BYD Co. is not well-known in the United States, even though it produces electric buses in Lancaster, California. But BYD is huge in its homeland, and now it wants to be huge in the United States. We should not allow that to happen.

On August 31, 2022, a Bloomberg Businessweek magazine article detailed that in China, “Domestic automakers accounted for almost 80% of EV sales through the first seven months of 2022, according to data compiled by the China Passenger Car Association (PCA) … long-established BYD Co., backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the runaway leader…”

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If we are to remain true to our country’s founding principles of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and independence, we should not be contributing to the prosperity of a company that wishes to make us dependent on products overseas – especially one based in a communist country that receives subsidies from a communist government.

BYD is the third-largest producer of EV batteries in the world and not only competes with U.S.-owned Tesla (among other brands) but is also a supplier to Tesla, creating a unique rival-partner scenario.

Warren Buffett should sell his entire BYD stake and invest in U.S.-owned automakers. I don’t care if it’s GM, Ford, Tesla, or any other smaller U.S.-based EV startup. Supporting U.S.-owned automakers would preclude foreign-owned companies like China-based Volvo, China-based Polestar, Lucid (61% owned by Saudi Arabia), and Vietnam-based Vinfast, even if they produce a portion of their cars in the United States.

Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett has made plenty of money on his Chinese investment. It is time for him to be true to his concern for U.S. trade deficits and invest in auto companies that are U.S.-based and make most of their vehicles in the United States.

The best way to make an impact is to send Warren Buffet a letter addressed to:

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
3555 Farnam Street
Suite 1440
Omaha, NE 68131

I would suggest writing “Re: Warren Buffet’s Chinese investments!” somewhere on the envelope. Warren Buffet may not read your letter personally, but his staff will pass on the information. The Berkshire Hathaway e-mail address is [email protected].

BYD is free to build its Chinese dreams as it sees fit. But it should do that somewhere other than the U.S. and without the assistance of the United States or its billionaire investors that call it home.

About Roger Simmermaker

Roger Simmermaker has written multiple books on buying American and trade policy since 1996, and has been a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and MSNBC. Roger has also been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times, among many other publications. His new book ” UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Our Founding Fathers Rejected FREE TRADE And So Should We,” was printed in January 2020.

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