Tony Podesta Paid $1 Million by China's Huawei for White House Lobbying
Federal disclosure filings reveal payments from Chinese tech company
Tony Podesta, brother of former adviser to Barack Obama, John Podesta, has scooped $1 million over the past half-year from the blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei to lobby the Biden White House, according to federal disclosures.
The Chinese tech giant, which was put under trade sanctions by President Donald Trump, paid Podesta $500,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021 to shake off the economic impacts of the restrictions.
Podesta has since made $1 million from Huawei over six months for his lobbying effort.
The disclosure revealed that the lobbying efforts focused on the President's Executive Office, centering around "telecommunications services and impacted trade issues," the disclosure revealed.
Huawei has been facing international scrutiny in recent years.
U.S. authorities flagged the company as a national security threat due to its close ties with China's ruling communist regime.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also cut the Communist Party of China-linked Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G network in the U.K.
PM Johnson promised to reduce China's involvement in the UK's 5G infrastructure "to zero" following the CPC's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. sanctions barred Huawei from using U.S. technology and software, effectively shutting out its gears from critical U.S. infrastructure and slashing its annual revenue by a third.
As Neon Nettle reported in 2019, the bill invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, permitting the president jurisdiction over interstate commerce in case of an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to the "national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States."
Last year, a new measure was introduced to tighten restrictions on Huawei further, stopping it from receiving new equipment licenses from U.S. regulators.
But Huawei fought back by ramping up its U.S. influence operation in recent months.
According to disclosure filings, Podesta was hired along with half a dozen lobbyists last year to help efforts.
The tech company had been pushing for the release of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder Ren Zhenfei, who had been detained in Canada on fraud charges relating to business dealings with Iran that circumvented U.S. sanctions.
Meng was released and allowed to return to China after signing a deal with the Department of Justice.
Huawei spent $3.59 million on lobbying in the United States in 2021, eight times as much compared to 2020.
That figure was $500,000 higher than its aggressive spending in 2019 when they were slapped with the sanctions.