Reta Jo Lewis, Joe Biden’s nominee for President and Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, has collaborated with various Chinese Communist Party-funded influence groups flagged by the U.S. government for seeking to coerce American officials into adopting “Beijing’s preferred policies,” The National Pulse can reveal.
The National Pulse can also exclusively report that Lewis serves on the board of the Greater Washington China Investment Center (GWCIC), which describes itself as a “public-private partnership designed to help small to mid-sized Chinese companies seeking to go global with a guided entrance to the U.S. market.” GWCIC President Bill Black’s bio boasts about his advisory roles with blacklisted telecommunications firm Huawei.
The group promises to form “key connections” for its Chinese clients in order to “build relationships with key players in both countries who have influence on foreign investment.”
To do so, GWCIC promises to provide “access and introductions to city, state and federal leaders in the United States and China.” A now-deleted promise on the website is that the GWCIC would also provide “access to U.S. industry and government databases.”
GWCIC’s blog even contains a post entitled “The Consequences of Being Tough on China,” which praises a broadcast from state-run outlet China Central Television (CCTV) as “insightful,” and features an interview with Marc Ross, a “friend of the GWCIC.”
Lewis has also helped the Chinese Communist Party expand its presence in the midwest.
She serves as a Strategic Advisor to the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA), a group with deep ties to one of the Chinese Communist Party’s premier foreign influence groups, the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The USHCA is “proudly working with” CUSEF to foster collaboration between the Chinese Communist Party and American farmers, targeting local officials with free trips to China.
CUSEF is an integral component of the Chinese Communist Party’s “United Front,” an effort that seeks to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,” according to the U.S. government.
Lewis has spoken at USHCA events alongside Chinese Communist Party officials as recently as July 2020, and has attended and praised the controversial China-U.S. Governors Forum, flagged by the U.S. State Department for its efforts to influence American officials to advocate for policies aligned with the global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party.
The event is hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), dubbed the “public face” of the Chinese government’s United Front and “avowedly an arm of the party-state.” The U.S. State Department asserts that CPAFFC is seeking to “directly and malignly influence” U.S. state and local leaders.
In a 2011 press briefing, while serving in the Obama administration, Lewis extended thanks to the CPAFFC for sponsoring the event. As recently as 2019, Lewis has also praised the event and its mission, as revealed in Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua:
The “most important thing” for subnational leaders is about the business of moving their state forward around jobs, moving their state forward around prosperity and making sure that each citizen has an opportunity to participate in the economy, and that’s the “motivation” for their relentless efforts in seeking cooperation with China, said Reta Jo Lewis, senior fellow and director of congressional affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.