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Perdue’s Record Of Close Ties To Chinese Government And Getting Rich Working To Outsource Business To Asia Exposed In New Report

Former Perdue Business Colleague: “David Was A Very Key Figure In Terms Of Establishing Relationships With The Chinese Government”

A new Washington Post report details Senator David Perdue’s efforts to rewrite his extensive ties to China and record of getting rich off of outsourcing work to Asia. The ultra-wealthy former businessman “spoke proudly of his years as a corporate executive in Asia” when he first ran for Senate in 2014. Now as he desperately aligns himself with President Trump, Perdue has tried to erase his record of outsourcing work to Asia and his history of “establishing relationships with the Chinese government.”

Perdue was a top executive at several companies as they made efforts “to lower costs by moving jobs out of the United States to Asia.” Perdue spent years living in Hong Kong and Singapore, “which he used as bases to travel across Asia to take advantage of the region’s lower-cost workforces.” A former colleague at Sara Lee told the Washington Post that “David was a very key figure in terms of establishing relationships with the Chinese government.” At Reebok, Perdue admitted “the company relied almost entirely on foreign production” and even said in a deposition that “100 percent was sourced in Asia.”

In his first Senate campaign in 2014, Perdue celebrated and highlighted his years in Asia in campaign ads. When asked to defend his record of outsourcing, Perdue even said, “I’m proud of it.” But just six years later, Perdue “sought to shift the focus away from such work” in an increasingly difficult re-election campaign.

Perdue has already come under fire for trying to erase his China ties and was caught selectively editing out his China connections from a campaign video. And in a desperate attempt to distract from his own extensive experience outsourcing to China and Asia, Perdue has been using China as a “political football” in his re-election bid, “fearmongering” and lobbing false attacks at his opponent that independent fact checkers say he “should be ashamed” of.   

Read more about Perdue’s hypocritical attempts to rewrite his record:

Washington Post: Sen. David Perdue became wealthy outsourcing work to Asia. Now the former CEO stands with Trump, who wants to ‘end our reliance on China.’
By Michael Kranish

Key Points:

  • When Republican David Perdue ran for the Senate six years ago, he spoke proudly of his years as a corporate executive in Asia. He made no apologies for having said that he “spent most of my career” relying on the outsourcing of jobs. He fended off attacks that he had enriched himself as companies he led relied on offshore production, and he won the Georgia seat.
  • But as Perdue seeks reelection, in a contest that will determine which party controls the Senate, he has sought to shift the focus away from such work as he allies himself with President Trump, who has blasted corporate executives who move jobs overseas.
  • In fact, Perdue was a top executive at some of the country’s best-known consumer brands, spending years in Hong Kong and Singapore, which he used as bases to travel across Asia to take advantage of the region’s lower-cost workforces. He was senior vice president of Asia operations for Sara Lee, a conglomerate that owned clothing lines and wanted to expand production in China, and global vice president and later president of Reebok, which made most of its footwear overseas, including in China.
  • Such efforts to lower costs by moving jobs out of the United States to Asia have been common for the past several decades, and Perdue in his first campaign strongly defended the practice. He included references to that work in a 2014 campaign commercial in which the narrator says, “For Sara Lee, David led their expansion into Asia, living in Hong Kong for two years.” The ad showed a picture at the Great Wall of China of him and his wife, Bonnie, who says, “It sure wasn’t Georgia.”
  • But when the campaign launched a new version of the ad this year, starting with the same video montage presenting Perdue as an “outsider,” the references to his work in Asia and the Great Wall picture were deleted. That has prompted the campaign of Perdue’s opponent, Democrat Jon Ossoff, to say that Perdue is trying to erase references to his work in Asia and mislead voters.
  • Keith Alm, who worked with Perdue in the Hong Kong office, said in an interview that Perdue was “a very shrewd business guy” who worked with companies across China that had ties to the communist government.
  • “David was a very key figure in terms of establishing relationships with the Chinese government as well as the manufacturers of different products,” said Alm, who was an executive senior vice president at Sara Lee at the time. “They’re all inextricably linked. Obviously, when you work in China, you work with the Chinese government. So he had exposure and management responsibilities for developing that relationship.”
  • After a stint as senior vice president of operations for Haggar Clothing, Perdue in 1994 became global vice president of Reebok, the athletic shoe company. Perdue said in the deposition that the company relied almost entirely on foreign production. “Except for very few pair, 100 percent was sourced in Asia,” he said.
  • Fireman said in an interview with The Washington Post that he recalled about 90 percent of the company’s overall shoe and clothing products being made overseas during Perdue’s time, including about 30 percent from China. He said Perdue never raised the idea of making shoes in the United States, adding that it would never have been possible given the higher costs.
  • Fireman said he is incredulous at the way Perdue has stood by as Trump denigrates the way American companies have relied on outsourcing.
  • “He made no attempt to save that company,” Raynor said. “All he cared about was saving himself.”
  • In his 2014 campaign, Perdue was pressed by a reporter how he would defend “outsourcing.”
  • “Well, defend it? I’m proud of it,” Perdue responded. “I mean this is a part of American business, part of any business. I mean outsourcing is the procurement of products or services to help your business run.”

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