On Saturday, US President Joe Biden appointed former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) to coordinate and oversee the $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending he just signed into law.
Now, according to the Washington Free Beacon‘s Chuck Ross, we learn that Landrieu is a top adviser to the Heartland Association – a trade organization that seeks Chinese investments in American infrastructure.
The Heartland Association ‘supports cultural and business exchange between China and 20 states in the American heartland,‘ according to the report. What’s more, they have frequently partnered with CCP front groups operating abroad.
Landrieu’s position with the Heartland Association could raise eyebrows given the organization’s promotion of Chinese investment in domestic infrastructure projects. American officials have expressed concern that the Chinese government and state-linked companies use infrastructure investments in foreign countries to influence policy abroad. Heartland Association chairman Bob Holden, the former Democratic governor of Missouri, this year urged Chinese investment in U.S. infrastructure, saying it presents a “win-win” for both sides. -Free Beacon
According to Heartland Group Executive Director Min Fan, Landrieu is an unpaid adviser, and added that the association’s advisers are “are all Governor Holden’s friends who agreed to be consulted when we need their advice.” Export-Import Bank nominee Reta Jo Lewis is also an adviser to the group.
Landrieu, who notably oversaw the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, will supervise spending on roads, bridges, ports, and other infrastructure across the country – which may raise questions over exactly what level of influence he’ll have over steering contracts, and to whom they may be steered.
More on the Heartland Association
There are at least two CCP ‘front’ groups that the Heartland Association has worked closely with; the China-United States Exchange Foundation, and the Chinese People’s Association for Relations with Foreign Countries – the latter of which has one executive working on the Heartland Association’s board.
CIA director William Burns testified this year that in his previous role as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he severed ties with the Exchange Foundation because of its efforts to influence American policymakers. Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo last year cancelled a diplomatic event sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Relations with Foreign Countries, saying the group sought to “malignly influence” state and local leaders to advance China’s foreign policy goals. -Free Beacon
Maybe Hunter Biden can compare notes with Landrieu on prospective CCP investors?