FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 8, 2020
Helena, MT – This week, new reporting highlighted Senator Steve Daines’ attempts to mislead Montanans about his chummy relationship with the Chinese government, as he takes his cues from Washington consultants telling GOP incumbents and candidates to “attack China” instead of trying to defend President Trump’s botched response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, reports reveal that Steve Daines bought and sold shares in “China-linked mutual funds” as the U.S. and China were engaged in trade talks. In August of 2018, Daines bought funds the day before trade talks between China and the US. After a second round of talks that appeared to indicate a thaw in tensions, Daines cashed out. The reports follow revelations that Daines made massive investments in health care funds as he voted on legislation that could affect their holdings, and raises further questions as to what extent Steve Daines’ personal financial interests have affected his actions as an elected official.
“As Daines was presenting himself as a leader in US-China relations over the course of trade negotiations, he was betting on funds heavily invested in Chinese companies,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “Now, he’s trying to change his tune on China as he toes the party line in shifting blame and attention away from his own efforts to secure massive wins for his corporate backers throughout his response to the pandemic. Montanans won’t be fooled.”
Montana Post: Steve Daines Bought and Sold Mutual Funds Investing in China During US-China Trade Negotiations
By: Don Pogreba
Research shows that Daines was making large investment transactions in China-linked mutual funds just as the U.S. and China were engaged in trade talks.
In fact, on August 21, 2018, Daines purchased funds tied to Chinese corporations the day before new formal trade talks between the U.S. and China.
On August 21, Daines purchased as much as $150,000 in mutual funds with large investments in China.
The timing of the purchase is certainly suspect, as China and the U.S. held talks on August 22 and August 23:
And following a second wave of talks, Daines started selling.
Just as with the healthcare investments we discussed yesterday, Daines wasn’t breaking any laws here, but it demonstrates the profile of a Senator who, while presenting himself as a leading figure in US-Sino trade relations, was busy making large investments in Chinese state-owned firms. It also demonstrates the danger of a U.S. Senator who seems to be making his personal finances a priority while he should focus on serving the needs of Montanans.
And independent of those concerns, it’s hardly in keeping with his new “tough on China” stance for Daines to be investing in the very state-owned companies that make it so difficult for American companies to compete with China.
We could believe Senator Daines now when he suggests that he’s going to be tough on China just in time for an election. Or we could believe the former middle manager at Procter and Gamble who went to work in China after they brutally killed their own people, the former President of the Asia-Pacific region for RightNow Technologies, the Senator who helped the Chinese government cover its abuses in Tibet, and the investor who poured a fortune into Chinese state-owned businesses while the U.S. was in a trade war with the country.
Either way, we’d be fools to believe anything Steve Daines says now.
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