Among the many lies told by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently, chief Chamber lobbyist Bruce Josten said that his organization’s foreign affiliates, called AmChams, are only “comprised of American companies doing business abroad in those countries.” In fact, the Chinese AmCham is comprised of Chinese firms like Northern Light Venture Capital; the AmCham in Russia is comprised of Russian state-run companies like VTB Bank; and, the AmCham of Abu Dhabi is comprised of UAE state-run oil companies.
The ties between the AmChams and the U.S. Chamber are deep. In addition to sharing staff members, the Chinese AmCham has worked closely with the U.S. Chamber and the Chinese government to sponsor a series of seminars in America to teach American businesses how to outsource jobs to China (called the China Grassroots Program). Below is an invite to an event sponsored by the right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson, inviting local businesses in Florida to come to Jacksonville and learn about outsourcing from Chinese government officials like Li Haiyan, the Counselor for Economic Affairs for the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Chamber lobbyist Joseph Fawkner, and BChinaB, a firm that specializes in helping American firms outsource their manufacturing jobs to China. Click the screenshot below for the invitation:
Similar events like the one above continued into 2009 and beyond.
The Chamber’s CEO, Tom Donohue, frequently defends outsourcing: for example, in 2004, he said “there are legitimate values in outsourcing — not only jobs, but work.” Recently, the Chamber came out against a Senate bill that would have discouraged outsourcing. As Campaign Money Watch report found that more than 1.4 million jobs were outsourced since 1994 in the nine states in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending significant money.
Separately from their relationship with the AmCham affiliates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce receives direct foreign donations to the same 501(c)(6) political account the Chamber is using to run an unprecedented $75 million attack ad campaign against progressives. In an exclusive investigation, ThinkProgress documented over 80 foreign firms donating at least $885,000 to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) account. As ThinkProgress’ Brad Johnson noted, many of these foreign supporters of the Chamber financing its 501(c)(6) are also some of the world’s largest outsourcing companies.
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