Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta has earned at least $1 million to lobby the White House on behalf of Huawei, a Chinese technology and telecommunications company blacklisted under the Trump administration.
Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta, received $500,000 from Huawei to lobby the Executive Office of the President between October and December of 2021, according to lobbying disclosures filed late Thursday. Huawei first hired Podesta in July 2021 and paid the long-time Democrat operative $500,000 to lobby the White House from July to September 2021.
Podesta lobbied on “issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues,” according to disclosure forms.
South America has sat within the U.S. sphere of interest since the Monroe Doctrine was enunciated in 1823. Now that may be changing, thanks to the inroads that Chinese telecom companies such as Huawei are making in the region’s economies. The advent of 5G networks is showcasing Beijing’s growing ability to rival Washington in South America.
That rivalry isn’t discussed too much in the region itself. Governments in Latin America mostly take a pragmatic approach, waiting for the lowest bidder while trying to remain as friendly as possible with each side. These tendencies hold true for most facets of U.S.-China competition in Latin America, but especially in South America, which is home to several major economies that are more politically and economically independent from the United States than closer neighbors such as Mexico.
The United States government has allegedly approved the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of electronic chips to Chinese technology giant Huawei, in a massive reversal of a Trump-era policy by the Biden Administration, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The report was first made by Reuters on Wednesday, which cited two anonymous sources who claimed to be familiar with the deal. Huawei intends to use the new supply of chips to construct more automatic components of automobiles, including video monitors and motion sensors. Huawei allegedly asked the suppliers to raise the value of chips from hundreds of millions to at least one billion for the next sale after the four-year licensing agreement expires.
A Huawei employee allegedly ghostwrote an op-ed on behalf of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who defended Huawei’s ties with American universities, according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon.
In 2019, Nicholas Negroponte — the co-founder of the MIT Media Lab — wrote a defense of the Chinese company’s partnership with MIT and other post-secondary institutions. He argued that the United States “should collaborate with leading technology companies and their research labs, rather than banning them.”