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Sleeping With the Enemy: Commerce Sec’s Husband Top Exec at China-Funded Firm.

Gina Raimondo Has Major Financial Stake - and Conflict of Interest - in AI Company.

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Key Points

  • Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is the latest Biden admin official with ties to China.
  • Raymond’s husband works for a company funded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
  • This may inhibit Raimondo in her role – it certainly creates a conflict of interest.

Fast facts: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s husband Andy Moffit works for PathAI, a Massachusetts-based artificial intelligence firm. Moffit’s AI firm is backed by Danhua Capital, a California-based venture capital firm that is funded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

And here we have our conflict of interest.

“Danhua Capital has been invested in PathAI since at least 2017, when it joined five other funders to contribute $11 million worth of seed funding for the artificial intelligence startup,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.

“In 2018, a top official at the Center for a New American Security, a liberal think tank, testified at a congressional hearing that Danhua focuses on ‘emerging and disruptive technologies,’” the New York Post reports. “Elsa Kania, an adjunct senior fellow at the organization, told lawmakers at the time that Danhua’s co-founder has said the investment firm is committed to ‘narrowing the gap’ in technological development between China and the US.”

So, can we trust Sec. Raimondo to be tough on China – our biggest enemy and economical competitor on the international stage – when she has skin in the game? No, we can’t. And we don’t have to look much further than the Secretary’s own words and actions in regard to China.

Despite telling the Wall Street Journal that her job is to, “stick up for American industry,” Raimondo has taken a decidedly pro-China stance, saying we must go all-in on trade: “It’s just an economic fact. I actually think robust commercial engagement will help to mitigate any potential tensions.”

As a result of this strategy, Raimondo has eased restrictions with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei; a company knee deep in state-directed espionage and repression of the Muslimm Uyghur population in Xinjiang. Back in August, the Commerce Department approved applications for Huawei to buy millions in computer chips for their automobile contracts.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration labels Huawei as a national security threat. 

According to Raimondo’s financial disclosure forms, her bank account would be very happy if PathAI were to continue to grow and thrive; Moffit has ownership and stock options in the neighborhood of 200,000 shares. The conflict is clear. Raimondo is the wrong Secretary at the wrong time.

Derek Scissors, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said it best: “The Commerce Department hasn’t adjusted to a world where China is a serious rival to the U.S. and is heading to a slow-motion clash with Congress.”