Ron Johnson’s Foreign Investments Support Job Creation in Chinese Government-Run Companies That Censor Citizens

Oct 13, 2010

Half of Johnson’s 153 Stocks Are Foreign; Johnson Supports Unfair Trade Deals That Have Cost Wisconsin At Least 64,000 Jobs

MADISON — Republican Senate Candidate Ron Johnson, who has launched an attack dubbed “misleading” by the AP for falsely claiming the Recovery Act created jobs in China, in fact, has stock holdings that support job growth in China, including China Mobile, a firm that issues stock but is owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China.

“Ron Johnson has supported unfair trade deals as successful for our economy and called them “creative destruction.” He’s half right. Thousands of Wisconsin workers have had family-supporting jobs destroyed by the unfair trade deals Ron Johnson embraces,” said Mike Tate, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

CEO Wang Jianzhou described his job at China Mobile, a state-owned company earlier this year.

“As head of a state-owned enterprise, my duty is to maximize the value of state assets. As CEO of a listed company, my job is to enhance value for our shareholders.’”  [Fortune, 7/31/10]

As a government-controlled firm, China Mobile announced in January 2010 that it would follow the government’s order to begin screening all text messages for certain keywords and that the the police are provided keywords to determine whether they are embedded in text messages deemed “objectionable” by the government. [Irish Times Foreign Correspondent Clifford Coonan, 1/28/10]

Kan Kaili, a professor of telecommunications at Beijing University, objected to the censorship, saying:

 “They are doing wide-ranging checks, checking anything and everything, even if it is between a husband and wife,” he said. “I don’t think people will be very happy about this.”  [The New York Times, 1/19/10]

Johnson has bet significantly on foreign investments, with 79 of his 153 stocks classified as foreign. According to his most recent Personal Financial Disclosure, Ron Johnson owns up to $5,000 in China Mobile stock.

Johnson has previously supported unfair trade deals claiming:

 “But the fact of the matter is NAFTA and CAFTA have actually been successful for our economy.” [Joy Cardin Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, 7/26/10]

But unfair trade deals have cost Wisconsin companies at least 64,000 jobs. [“Department of Labor Certified Trade-Related Job Loss,” Public Citizen, http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=2543, accessed 9/22/2010]

Johnson has also suggested that China is better for business than the U.S. Listen to this clip courtesy of the Wisconsin Radio Network, and you can hear Johnson say that he thinks China is a better place to do business than the U.S.

Here’s what he said:

“I’d encourage people to go onto Youtube and type in Steve Wynn. He does about a five-minute piece where he’s talking about- he’s the fellow who does Wynn resorts in Las Vegas. He’s also creating resorts in Macau in China, communist China. And his point is, the level of uncertainty, the climate for business investment is far more certain in communist China then it is in the U.S. here.”  [Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Radio Network, 8/30/10]

The Wisconsin State Journal, which discovered the clip, reported that, “The host sounded a bit baffled by his response.” According to the State Journal, the host said:

“Ron…but Macau is in China. China is a socialist-planned economy,” he said. “The level of uncertainty…isn’t the level of uncertainty part of a side-effect, if you will, of our, of our democracy?”