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Scrutiny of business deals by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s son Hunter now includes his joint venture with a Chinese government entity to buy a U.S. automotive technology company with potential military applications.
The ease with which the 2015 transaction was approved by the Obama administration alarmed Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who is looking into whether the Obama-Biden White House intervened in the process.
Companies - Deal - Bohai - Harvest - RST
One of the companies in the 2015 deal was Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a billion-dollar investment fund backed by China that was formed by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz, the stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Chinese government’s Aviation Industry Corporation of China teamed with BHR to buy Henniges Automotive, a producer of high-tech, anti-vibration components for automobiles.
Involvement - Mr - Hunter - Biden - Mr
“The direct involvement of Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest,” Mr. Grassley wrote in an Aug. 15 letter to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican, requested Mr. Mnuchin provide committee investigators with documents from the approval process, including a copy of the National Threat Assessment required for the deal.
Purchase - Henniges - Chinese - Approval - Obama
The purchase of Henniges by the Chinese needed approval from the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that included a go-ahead from Mr. Kerry’s State Department.
The $600 million acquisition of Henniges gave the Chinese aviation firm a 51% stake in the business and direct control of the anti-vibration technology. BHR got a 49% share of the business.
Appearance - Conflicts - Case - Mr - Biden
“The appearance of potential conflicts in this case is particularly troubling given Mr. Biden’s and Mr. Heinz’s history of investing in and collaborating with Chinese companies, including at least one posing significant national security concerns,” Mr. Grassley wrote.
He balked that CFIUS approved the transaction despite reports that in 2007, the same...
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