Question the Motives of Opponents to Economic Development in Michigan

In recent years, disruptions in global supply chains have exposed America’s economic and national security vulnerabilities. The United States has awakened to the essential need to revitalize and expand our domestic supply chain resilience. Michigan is poised to play a leading role in high-tech and advanced manufacturing. This includes advanced battery and semiconductor chip production and other critical industries and products essential for both economic and national security.

Recent years have also greatly disrupted America’s politics and culture. That’s news to precisely no one. But this domestic upheaval threatens paradoxical harm to our country’s economic and national security interests. Look no further than recent struggles of economic development siting projects in Michigan areas such as Big Rapids, Marshall, and the greater Lansing area of Eagle, where partisan politics have exacerbated typical development growing pains and now illogically risk impending billions of dollars of economic investment and many thousand high-paying jobs of the future.

The terms ‘illogical’ and ‘paradoxical’ are apt because vast sums of money have been spent in opposition to securing this lucrative economic investment in Michigan’s infrastructure and job base. The conflicts defy local, state, and national self-interest with exclamation points and WTFs. It makes sense why China, one of our largest trading partners and also our largest economic rival, would stoke opposition to losing this investment and jobs to the U.S. It also makes sense that these development efforts in Michigan might be caught up in competition between global corporations – including Chinese companies at odds with one another.

What doesn’t make sense – at least at first glance – is why visible partisans like former congressmen Pete Hoekstra and Mike Rogers, along with current Cong. John Moolenaar are among the loudest and most hostile voices to bringing these supply chain components to Michigan.

However, their opposition becomes understandable when considering two factors: partisanship and personal conflicts of interest. Hoekstra, now chairing the Michigan Republican Party, and Republican Rogers, vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate, are primarily driven by partisan motives and goals. Moolenaar, concerned with fending off challenges from his political right and climbing the seniority ladder in Washington, also has personal interests at stake. These Trump Republicans are looking to build or exploit partisan discontent against President Biden, Gov. Whitmer, Cong. Elissa Slotkin (the leading contender for the open U.S. Senate seat), and Democrats in Lansing. Hoekstra, Rogers, and Moolenaar also share unseemly ties to China.

Hoekstra enjoyed a lucrative career as a lobbyist after leaving Congress – including making a boatload lobbying for a Chinese company with strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that was sanctioned by the U.S. government. Rogers has gained “wealth through companies that have partnered with Chinese firms” since he retired from Congress. Meanwhile, Moolenaar has a voting record in Washington that often aligns with the CCP. This includes opposing sanctions on bad-acting Chinese companies and overlooking human rights violations. Moolenaar has also accepted thousands of dollars from foreign agents hired by the CCP to lobby Congress and its members to China’s benefit.

Keep these undeniable facts in mind when you hear politicians like Hoekstra, Rogers, and Moolenaar advocating against Michigan’s economic interests. Question their true motives when they’re willing to jeopardize our national security for fleeting grabs at political power and relevance.

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