Johnson’s Wealth Grew From China Deal?
Senator criticizes Hunter Biden for China connection while his family's company makes big haul.
Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has had a fixation on Hunter Biden‘s supposedly nefarious connections to foreign countries like Ukraine and more recently China, while claiming Joe Biden benefitted from these ventures.
But it turns out Johnson himself benefitted from a family-connected company’s cozy deal with China according to a story by the Guardian. Johnson made $57 million in income in his first 10 years in office and that wealth “was boosted by his company’s ties to another company that was owned and managed by his family, which in turn grew its business in China, acquired businesses in China, and reported having a loan worth tens of millions of dollars from the Bank of China,” the story noted.
Johnson’s wealth has always been connected to his wife’s family, a history which was traced by the Northwestern, a daily paper in Oshkosh. Johnson, a Minnesota native, moved to Oshkosh in 1979 with his wife, Jane, where he worked for his wife’s family’s plastics company, PACUR, an abbreviation of Pat Curler, who was Jane’s brother. Pat created the company with funding from his and Jane’s father, Howard Curler. Howard Curler had been named CEO of the plastics giant Bemis Company in 1978, and for the first several years of PACUR’s existence, Bemis was the company’s only customer.
It was not until 1997 that Ron Johnson became owner of PACUR, which continued to have a close relationship with Bemis. “SEC documents show that, from about 1998 to 2010, Bemis paid tens of millions of dollars to Pacur, which was a supplier to Bemis,” the Guardian reports. Johnson also personally owned Bemis stock, valued at between $1 million and $5.2 million on financial disclosure forms.
Despite these close family connections, a spokesperson for Johnson told the Guardian that “Until your inquiry, he had no knowledge of Bemis’s business holdings in China or any legal action Bemis was involved in. The Bemis company was one of many customers Senator Johnson’s business sold plastics to.”
Johnson also took policy stands that aligned with the interests of Bemis and its relationship with China. Bemis twice filed suit against the US government’s policies on trade in China, including one in 2018 which “sued the United States to contest a finding by the International Trade Commission in support of tariffs on China,” the story reports. “At the same time, Johnson was a vocal critic of US trade policy against China, marking a rare disagreement with Trump.”
All of this looks very much like the kind of activity Johnson was accusing President Joe Biden of doing. Johnson was warned by the FBI that he could be peddling Russian disinformation, but did so anyway, using his Senate committee to wrongly claim “nefarious connections between Ukraine and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and pushing the narrative that it was Ukraine and not Russian interfering with America’s election,” as Urban Milwaukee reported. “The report was widely condemned by the press as a ‘hatchet job’ and a ‘rehashing of unproven allegations’ and condemned by Republican Senator Mitt Romney as ‘a political exercise.'”
That charge turned out to have some truth to it. A story in March by the Washington Post found that CEFC China Energy “and its executives paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, according to government records, court documents and newly disclosed bank statements.” But the Post “did not find evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC, which took place after he had left the vice presidency and before he announced his intentions to run for the White House in 2020.”
Which leaves this question: if it is so dreadful for Hunter Biden to do a $4.8 million deal with “Communist China,” how about the company Johnson’s relatives owned and which he owned stock in benefiting from plants it operated there and from a $50 million Bank of China loan?
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