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Wilbur Ross Remained on Chinese Joint Venture Board While Running US-China Trade War

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  • Wilbur Ross Remained on Chinese Joint Venture Board While Running US-China Trade War

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/29...a-board-trade/


    Chinese documents show that the U.S. commerce secretary did not successfully step down from all his corporate commitments.

    Wilbur Ross, an investor-turned-U.S. commerce secretary, has long been accused of ethical violations because of his failure to extricate himself from his business ties. Documents obtained by Foreign Policy show that Ross’s potential conflicts of interest around Chinese business are greater than previously known.

    In Chinese corporate documents obtained by Foreign Policy, Ross is listed as serving on the board of a Chinese joint venture until January 2019—nearly two years into his term as commerce secretary. That joint venture, now called Huaneng Invesco WLR (Beijing) Investment Fund Management Co., is an investment partnership formed in September 2008 between Huaneng Capital Services, the U.S. management company Invesco, and a firm Ross founded, WL Ross & Co. Huaneng Capital Services is an arm of China Huaneng Group, a major state-owned power producer.

    The letter that Ross provided to Foreign Policy is dated Feb. 27, 2017, marked “Confidential,” and has as its subject line “Re: Resignation from WLR Entities.” In the letter, addressed to WL Ross & Co., Ross writes that he “shall be deemed to have retired, resigned or withdrawn” from every entity affiliated with WL Ross & Co. Ross lists dozens of companies that he claims the letter applies to, including those affiliated with Huaneng. But Chinese corporate law experts consulted by Foreign Policy say that under Chinese law, writing a private letter to a U.S. parent company does not remove one from Chinese corporate boards.

    (Invesco, which owns WL Ross & Co., declined to comment for this story.) “The failure to withdraw from the board may have just been an inadvertent slip, but what you said is clearly not a ‘false narrative,’” said Fred Rocafort, an attorney at the international law firm Harris Bricken. “Chinese corporate records establish, without a doubt, that he was officially on the board until February 1, 2019.”


    Doubtless we agree that such a conflict of interest is a serious problem. This is even worse than what is alleged in Huntergate as Ross stood to directly benefit from this conflict and his influence on the trade war would have been significant and easily hidden.

    Article is paywalled but I just stopped the page loading after the story appeared and the blocking element didn't show up.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LiconaFan97 View Post
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/29...a-board-trade/


    Chinese documents show that the U.S. commerce secretary did not successfully step down from all his corporate commitments.

    Wilbur Ross, an investor-turned-U.S. commerce secretary, has long been accused of ethical violations because of his failure to extricate himself from his business ties. Documents obtained by Foreign Policy show that Ross’s potential conflicts of interest around Chinese business are greater than previously known.

    In Chinese corporate documents obtained by Foreign Policy, Ross is listed as serving on the board of a Chinese joint venture until January 2019—nearly two years into his term as commerce secretary. That joint venture, now called Huaneng Invesco WLR (Beijing) Investment Fund Management Co., is an investment partnership formed in September 2008 between Huaneng Capital Services, the U.S. management company Invesco, and a firm Ross founded, WL Ross & Co. Huaneng Capital Services is an arm of China Huaneng Group, a major state-owned power producer.

    The letter that Ross provided to Foreign Policy is dated Feb. 27, 2017, marked “Confidential,” and has as its subject line “Re: Resignation from WLR Entities.” In the letter, addressed to WL Ross & Co., Ross writes that he “shall be deemed to have retired, resigned or withdrawn” from every entity affiliated with WL Ross & Co. Ross lists dozens of companies that he claims the letter applies to, including those affiliated with Huaneng. But Chinese corporate law experts consulted by Foreign Policy say that under Chinese law, writing a private letter to a U.S. parent company does not remove one from Chinese corporate boards.

    (Invesco, which owns WL Ross & Co., declined to comment for this story.) “The failure to withdraw from the board may have just been an inadvertent slip, but what you said is clearly not a ‘false narrative,’” said Fred Rocafort, an attorney at the international law firm Harris Bricken. “Chinese corporate records establish, without a doubt, that he was officially on the board until February 1, 2019.”


    Doubtless we agree that such a conflict of interest is a serious problem. This is even worse than what is alleged in Huntergate as Ross stood to directly benefit from this conflict and his influence on the trade war would have been significant and easily hidden.

    Article is paywalled but I just stopped the page loading after the story appeared and the blocking element didn't show up.
    Where is the chain of custody for these documents. How can you be sure they haven't been doctored?

    We know that china has an interest in interfering with us elections. We know that China has a hand in controlling the actions of many chinese companies. How do you know that this isn't from China's government trying to influence the election?
    Last edited by CivilDiscourse; 10-30-2020, 07:30 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ross says he resigned. These Chinese documents list him as a board member. Frankly, I'm inclined to trust Ross unless there is better evidence showing that he lied.
      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
      Than a fool in the eyes of God


      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

      Comment


      • #4
        Trump's cabinet: 100% Swamp.

        Comment


        • #5
          The OP seems to have forgotten this thread

          Comment


          • #6
            @Linconafan97

            Are you continuing this conversation?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

              Where is the chain of custody for these documents. How can you be sure they haven't been doctored?

              We know that china has an interest in interfering with us elections. We know that China has a hand in controlling the actions of many chinese companies. How do you know that this isn't from China's government trying to influence the election?
              I don't. Guess we agree that we should doubt things coming from sources with a vested interest absent sufficient evidence, right?

              Comment

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