House Democrats shot down a GOP motion earlier this month that sought to bar corporate cooperation with Chinese slave labor.
The Motion to Recommit proposed by Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr amending a Democrat bill on corporate disclosure would have required businesses to report to the Treasury Department if they discover a supplier or other business partner was found using forced labor.
Two-hundred and seventeen Democrats rejected the measure and the amendment failed. A look at their corporate donors might reveal why.
Slave Labor Profits to Campaign Coffers
In March last year, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report credibly accusing 82 major brands of profiting, either directly or indirectly, from Chinese slave labor by minority Uyghur workers from the northern Xinjiang province. According to the report, investigators estimate more than 80,000 Uyghurs were taken from their native provinces to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, with thousands more sent straight to concentration camps.
Using open-source Chinese-language documents, satellite imagery, academic research, and on-the-ground reporting, ASPI linked 82 brands with forced labor operations among 27 factories across nine Chinese provinces. A Federalist analysis drawing on financial disclosure reports published in OpenSecrets found at least 44 of the 80 companies named made U.S. campaign contributions in last year’s election cycle.
A vast majority went to Democrats, who raked in three-quarters of all federal donations from companies credibly accused of harnessing Chinese slave labor, while less than 12 percent flowed to Republicans. Of the nearly $40 million that went to congressional candidates between the two major parties, Democrats took home more than 85 percent, as opposed to Republicans, who received less than 15.
Meanwhile, 39 out of the 42 companies that made donations gave more than half to Democrats, with nearly a dozen skyrocketing contributions in last fall’s contest compared to previous cycles. Apple and Nike, for example, which deployed high-powered Washington lobbyists to fight the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act barring importing products from Chinese slave labor, each spiked their donations to Democrats by more than 400 percent in a year Republicans embraced a tough stance on China.
The chart from OpenSecrets below outlines Apple’s contributions to federal candidates, showing the company’s affiliates gave upwards of $7.5 million to Democrats in 2020 as opposed to less than $2 million in 2018.
Nike’s contributions graph shown below, again from OpenSecrets, shows the company’s affiliates gave more than $1.2 million to Democrats in 2020, a jump from less than $300,000 in 2018. The company also plummeted in contributions to Republicans at the same time, giving nearly $700,000 to Republicans three years ago and giving less than $150,000 to GOP candidates in 2020, a more than 350 percent decrease.
Nike, headquartered in Oregon, has shown particular loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to retain access to its lucrative Chinese markets. Just last week, the company’s Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe declared Nike “a brand that is of China and for China.”
In a statement to ASPI investigators, the company denied it employed workers from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and said it was cooperating with industry leaders to avoid such links. Its Washington activism, however, says otherwise.
The three companies that gave a majority of their campaign contributions to Republicans meanwhile — Carter’s Inc., Haier, and BMW — Republicans only marginally benefitted. BMW’s donations were near-evenly split, with 50.3 percent of donations going to the GOP and 49.7 percent in Democrat coffers. Haier spent nearly $57,000 on Republicans and nearly $40,000 on Democrats. Carter’s Inc. gave less than $20,000 in federal contributions total.
Coca-Cola, on the other hand, which also deployed its team of Washington lobbyists to defeat anti-slave labor legislation in November, upped its Democrat donations to more than $700,000 in 2020 from less than $500,000 in 2018. The company lowered its contributions to Republicans by nearly $250,000, giving $600,000 to Republicans in 2018 and around $350,000 to GOP candidates in last year’s cycle.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act never received a vote in the upper chamber. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio reintroduced the bill in the Senate earlier this year.
Eric Swalwell As An Emblem Of Chinese Influence Within The Democratic Party
Concerns over Chinese influence corrupting the Democratic Party came into full bloom last fall.
In December, California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence with access to the nation’s top secrets, was reported as cultivating a close relationship with a Chinese spy. The since-vanished Chinese national, Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, was tasked with developing intimate relationships with U.S. politicians to gain proximity to political power.
Throughout 2011 to 2015, Fang Fang’s targets included California Bay Area politicians, including Swalwell, for whom she fundraised in 2014. Swalwell’s office refused comment on whether the relationship became sexual.
House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Swalwell to be removed from the Intelligence Committee after an FBI briefing with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“He should not be on Intel,” McCarthy said as he left the meeting with intelligence officials. “I just think there are definitely 200 other Democrats that I know could fill that place.”
Democrats, however, came to Swalwell’s defense, and he remains on the Intelligence Committee today. A senior staffer on Capitol Hill told The Federalist the level of concern related to Chinese influence infiltrating the Democratic Party is an “eight and a half” on a scale of one to ten.
“When you have Pelosi and the DNC having a fundraiser where you have CCP members at the fundraiser, [it’s] just not good,” said the person, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss matters of intelligence openly.
Chinese influence over the Biden family has remained a primary area of concern since the new president entered the crowded Democratic primary in the spring of 2019.
While President Joe Biden was vice president, his son, Hunter, had been leveraging the family name to engage in potentially criminal business ventures with Chinese leaders. In 2013, Hunter flew aboard Air Force Two on a trip to Beijing with his vice president father. Then followed a series of meetings with powerful Chinese businessmen while Hunter built a global private equity firm that included approval for a Chinese business license for a firm known as BHR. Hunter was one of its nine directors.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of the firm’s finances show the company channeled at least $2.5 billion into automotive, energy, mining, and technology deals on behalf of its investors, prioritizing overseas projects. One included a joint acquisition of the Michigan motor company Henniges in 2015, marking “the biggest Chinese investment into U.S. automotive manufacturing assets to date.”
Interest in the Biden family’s connections with China peaked in the final weeks of the presidential campaign last fall however when a business partner-turned-whistleblower named Tony Bobulinski declared the Democratic nominee is “compromised” by the Chinese Communist Party.
Bobulinski was recruited by Hunter to serve as the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings, another firm in partnership with the Chinese firm CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd (CEFC), led by Ye Jianming. In September, Senate investigators wrote Ye held “significant connections” to the CCP and previous affiliations with the People’s Liberation Party.
Bobulinski spoke on the heels of a blockbuster exposé series in the New York Post that detailed an arrangement securing millions for the Biden family, with 10 percent set aside for Joe Biden himself for “introductions alone.”
“I just don’t see, given the history here and the facts, how Joe can’t be influenced in some manner based on the history that they have here with CEFC,” Bobulinski told Tucker Carlson on Fox News while he outlined in detail how Joe Biden was intimately involved with Hunter’s overseas ventures.
Senate investigators had also flagged as potential criminal activity a six-figure shopping spree arranged by Ye for Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s brother James, and James’ wife Sara Biden that included extravagant items from airplane tickets to Apple products.
Chinese Influence Hampers Probe Into COVID Origin
Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher said earlier this month he’s concerned Chinese influence within the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill could prevent a genuine investigation into the origins of the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
“I’m sensing that we’re going to hit this big roadblock,” Gallagher told Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech on a Fox News podcast, “which is the concern within a wing of the Biden administration and on the left about provoking the Chinese Communist Party.”
Gallagher said the risk aversion he’s sensing could be a product of corporate Chinese dollars flowing into Democratic campaign coffers.
“I don’t know if there’s a financial incentive behind that or just a, ‘Hey we don’t want to wind up in a World War III,’ thing behind that,” Gallagher said, but “at the same time we’re getting very good at constantly bashing America and broadcasting to the world what an evil racist hellscape of a country this is. There’s reticence to criticize the Chinese Community Party, which by the way is perpetuating a genocide right now.”
The disproportionate funds benefitting his Democrat colleagues, however, raise the likelihood that financial incentives are key to the Democratic Party’s protection of the murderous CCP and its corporate allies’ interests.