Joe Biden’s Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has been asked to provide information to House Republicans about her family’s financial connections to the Chinese government. The inquiry was sparked by reporting her husband’s employment with a new tech company receiving funding from the Chinese Communist Party.
The group of Republican House members wrote a letter on Friday regarding Raimondo’s husband, Andrew Moffit, and his position with artificial intelligence startup tech company PathAI. The firm has received capital funding from Danhua Capital, which the Chinese government backs. Danhua has invested in PathAI as part of a stated plan to “penetrate Silicon Valley.”
Reps signed the letter. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and stated that the revelation of Moffit’s involvement with a Chinese-backed tech company is “deeply concerning.” They also said it raises questions about “obvious conflicts of interest” and America’s strategic leadership in artificial intelligence tech.
Raimondo is asked to answer a series of questions about PathAI. The letter asks what information she had about Chinese capital investment in the company and if she told the Biden Administration about the investment when she was confirmed as Commerce Secretary. She is also asked if her family’s stake in Path AI has influenced her official decisions regarding policy toward China.
The letter asks explicitly how her department has approached efforts to stop Chinese tech firms from partnering with American companies. Raimondo has taken public positions that harsh policies on China will harm American companies.
The letter also notes that the Commerce Department under Raimondo has “stalled efforts to blacklist” some Chinese investments and companies that are adverse to U.S. interests or human rights.
Raimondo has given deferential treatment to Chinese tech giant Huawei and has expressed opposition to asking American companies to boycott the Olympic Games in Beijing next year. Huawei has been linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s oppression of the Muslim Uyghurs, including forced labor.