A state-owned Chinese chemical company whose boards of directors include Communist Party members is building a manufacturing plant in Louisiana. And thanks to the concessions made by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration, Louisiana taxpayers are left footing the bill.
Wanhua Chemical Group recently announced plans to build a $1.12 billion plant in a yet-to-be-announced location in the state, making this the second-largest Chinese investment in Louisiana’s chemical manufacturing industry. Yuhuang Chemical has already begun building a $1.85 billion methanol plant in St. James Parish. Under the agreement negotiated by Edwards’ administration, Louisiana’s economic development arm will give Wanhua a $4.3 million infrastructure grant, and the company will be able to tap into state tax exemption programs.
Earlier this week GotNews broke the story of a separate billionaire connected to Chinese spies trying to corner the copper market in Utah as part of their global mineral takeover. With the White House focused on Made In America Week, standing up to the Chinese attempts to encroach on U.S. soil is a critical part of the mission.
As for Wanhua, despite claiming to be the first previously state-owned corporation to transition to public ownership, it is still almost 40 percent owned by the Chinese government, specifically the Yantai branch of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). The SASAC performs investor responsibilities on behalf of the State Council of the Chinese government. Wanhua was also visited by the Vice Premier of the State Council to recognize the company’s role in the chemical and material industries just last year.
As if this weren’t enough, Wanhua’s board of directors is littered with members of the Chinese Communist Party. Five of those members hold or have held positions within the Chinese government, including a Communist Party Secretary (who also happens to be Wanhua’s president) and a Section Chief of the Propaganda Department. Two members have won awards or honorary titles from the government. Wanhua also has ties to state-owned banks, including the Bank of China, which led a banking syndicate in backing Wanhua’s takeover of Hungarian chemical company BorsodChem.
While the agreement is being touted by Gov. Edwards and his team, it is difficult to see this move as anything but a takeover of one of the state’s main industries by the Chinese government, which has emphasized the chemical industry’s importance to its national economy. A major project by a partly state-owned and Communist Party-riddled company like Wanhua, funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars, surely poses a serious threat to American businesses and workers.
Stay tuned for more.
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