CHINESE GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS
Last year, John Bel Edwards proudly announced that Wanhua Chemical planned to invest one and a quarter billion dollars in a new plastics plant in the St. James community of Convent.
Louisiana taxpayers will be paying for the privilege: Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has pledged a cash grant of more than $4 million to the company.
Those plans were delayed this summer when it was learned that a division of the company sought trade tariff exemptions, and also wanted to have the plant property declared a foreign trade zone through the Port of South Louisiana, both of which measures could mean less tax revenue for the community.
According to analysis from The Washington Times, Kimberly Terrell, Director of Community Outreach at Tulane Environmental Law Clinic in New Orleans and a scientist by training, stated, “In its response to the Land Use Permit Appeal [to St. James Parish], Wanhua falsely claimed that neither Wanhua U.S. nor Wanhua China is owned by the Chinese government.”
However, Ms. Terrell says, “publicly filed documents contradict this claim by proving that Wanhua U.S. is 100% owned by Wanhua China, and that Wanhua China’s ‘ultimate controlling shareholder’ is a municipal government of the PRC. Like all local governments, Yantai is entirely controlled by the PRC central government and the Communist Party of China.” Wanhua even has its own Communist Party committee embedded within the company’s leadership structure.
At the same time the Trump administration is calling China “an economic enemy”and their business practices a threat to “the economic and national security of the U.S.,” John Bel Edwards has identified the People’s Republic of China as Louisiana’s “primary foreign direct investment” partner!
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