Webb: Tax dollars shouldn’t fund Chinese business

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., on Monday called on the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government development organization funded by American tax dollars, to immediately cease action on multimillion-dollar development projects awarded to non-U.S. companies in Africa.

“At a time when our economy is struggling to recover, I am concerned that the funding of Chinese state-owned companies with U.S. taxpayer dollars harms American business, foreign policy and development interests abroad,” Webb wrote in a letter to Millennium CEO David Yohannes highlighting a recent spate of contracts to the Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation, including a $71.6 million contract awarded to Sinohydro to build a new airport in Mali, Africa, plus at least three other contracts totaling more than $150 million for infrastructure projects in Mali and Tanzania, Africa.

“I have requested a briefing this week with MCC representatives on the matter of how contracts are awarded to non-U.S. companies,” Webb said today. “If this situation is unchanged, we risk the entrenchment of Chinese companies in Africa, paid for by American taxpayers. I cannot imagine a more ludicrous scenario at this point in the evolution of our recent foreign policy.” Webb also said that such projects “obviously work to the benefit of the Chinese government’s strategy to expand political influence through business and development ventures.”

Webb instead pressed for the partnering of the MCC with U.S. businesses. “American tax dollars provided for overseas investments should be used to assist U.S. economic recovery, provide American jobs, and strengthen U.S. business ties with developing countries.”

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.

Keywords: jim webb virginia, china u.s. business

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