During Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential tenure, his 26-year-old niece coordinated the Obama administration’s China approach as a Special Assistant to the Treasury Department’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
Casey Owens, the latest member of the Biden family to benefit financially or professionally from the former Senator’s connections, joined “the highest-level bilateral economic forum” four years after graduating from college and a stint at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
She wielded considerable influence over the direction of U.S.-China relations between 2009 and 2011, as she described her team as “advising” former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and responsible for “coordinat[ing] the priorities within the agenda for the Dialogue” and “spearhead[ing] the negotiations of proposals.”
The appointment triggered no media furore, nor coverage, with the exception of a buried two-sentence mention in a New York Times article from this year.
The piece highlights Biden’s penchant for exploiting political office to provide family members with jobs and lucrative contracts, though the criticism was arguably 12 years too late.
Biden, identified as one of the “top five senators payments or contributions to a family businesses or employer” in a 2008 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics report, also funneled $3,618 from his 2002 Senate campaign fund to Owens.
An unearthed cable reveals Owens was part of the elite Strategic and Economic Dialogue II planning trip to Beijing as part of the Economic Track delegation alongside State and Treasury Executive and Senior officials. Despite being out of the administration for five years, she attended the Obama administration’s final state dinner.
Her proximity to American and Chinese officials casts the rest of the family’s China-based business dealings, chiefly those of Hunter Biden, in an interesting and, perhaps, suspicious light.
Hunter, along with other Obama officials’ offspring, notoriously ran investment firms that inked billion-dollar contracts with Chinese companies, including state-owned enterprises.
Many allege these deals only materialized due to his father’s position. In 2013, for example, then-Veep Biden and his son traveled via Air Force Two to China, and twelve days later, Hunter landed a $1 billion contract with a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-run Bank of China.
The hiring decision serves as a cautionary tale for what the composition of a potential Biden administration could look like – teeming with his family members while those in the private sector profit immensely.