Hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars went to Chinese companies from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was designed to help small businesses survive during the pandemic, according to a new report.
A review of public PPP loan data by consultancy firm Horizon Advisory found that $192 million to $419 million in loans were given to more than 125 Chinese-owned or -invested companies operating in the United States. Many of the loans were substantial, with at least 32 Chinese-owned firms receiving more than $1 million under the program, totaling between $85 million and $180 million, it found.
The recipients included Chinese state-owned enterprises, companies that supported Beijing’s military development program, firms identified by the United States as national security threats, and media outlets controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the report said. Many were based in critical industries such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and semiconductor manufacturing. These are sectors that the CCP has slated for aggressive development to achieve global dominance, with the goal of supplanting competitors in the United States and other countries.
The report concluded that “without appropriate policy guardrails and monitoring of U.S. tax dollars intended for relief, recovery, and growth of the U.S. economy, there is a significant risk that funds will support foreign strategic rivals, namely China.”
Many of these Chinese-linked firms could have tapped into other sources of capital from public or private markets to support their American operations, the report said.
“Their PPP participation saved U.S.-based jobs, but likely at the expense of other U.S. small businesses.”
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