Bipartisanship is such a rare occurrence in today’s polarizing political world that it merits a tip of the hat when we see examples. This time, working together helped save an estimated 2,600 jobs in the state.
The story begins in an unlikely place — a dispute between two South Korean electric vehicle battery manufacturers. LG Energy filed a lawsuit before the U.S. International Trade Commission against SK Innovation for stealing trade secrets and destroying documents.
How does that involve Georgia? SK Innovation is in the process of building a pair of plants in Jackson County, Georgia, but it threatened to walk away from those plans if the Trade Commission ruled in favor of LG.
Before the rubber had to meet the road, the two sides were able to reach a deal with SK Innovation paying LG $1.8 billion in exchange for LG dropping the suit.
How did the deal come about? Let’s start with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Kemp, a Republican, has kept the issue on the front burner, calling numerous times for the White House to intervene so that SK Innovation would move forward with its plans to build plants in Georgia. Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, told Capitol Beat News Service that the governor has been “tireless” in his efforts to resolve the situation.
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, also intervened to help both parties reach an agreement. Jun Kim, president and chief executive officer of SK Innovation, told Capitol Beat that Ossoff “provided leadership and helped us achieve a path forward.”
Thanks to the combined efforts of a Republican governor and a Democratic senator, thousands of jobs were saved for Georgians. Can you imagine what both sides could achieve if they worked together more often?
Maybe we could develop an immigration policy that balances the need for security with the moral responsibility to help our fellow man. Maybe we could find better solutions to the numerous complex problems facing our society.
Democrats and Republicans see themselves as adversaries, and that is why nothing gets done easily. What they all are, though, are elected officials chosen to do what’s best for the citizens that put them in those positions. That seems to be forgotten amid the fight for party supremacy.
What’s best for the country and state should always be the guiding principle for our leaders. Let’s hope everyone in Washington and Atlanta remembers that.
THE BRUNSWICK NEWS