A recent report has revealed that GOP presidential contender Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) provided $90,000 in tax relief to a subsidiary of a Chinese company, further jeopardizing his presidential campaign, which has repeatedly trailed former President Donald Trump in polls.
The Washington Examiner reported that the company, called JinkoSolar, is a Chinese-headquartered solar panel manufacturer whose factory is in Jacksonville, Florida. In the spring of 2022, the company was raided by federal agents for having allegedly violated the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act.
Washington Examiner: DeSantis gave federally investigated Chinese company tax credit despite earlier denialshttps://t.co/5zxOAc9qjF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 1, 2023
Despite this, DeSantis sent the company $90,000, according to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
When asked about the development, DeSantis’ campaign pointed to Florida’s Department of Commerce and claimed that the tax relief funds were merely a continuation of then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) administration.
“As we have made explicitly clear, this company was recruited by the [Rick] Scott Administration and all incentives they received were a result of that recruitment,” DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Rose Herbert said.
“Further, when the governor signed HB5 in 2023, he prohibited all Chinese companies (and any company from the seven foreign countries of concern in Florida law) from ever receiving state incentives in Florida,” Herbert added.
Interestingly, the revelation comes after the DeSantis campaign, alongside allies of the Florida governor, pointed out the different ways DeSantis had distanced the Sunshine State from China.
Before the raid of JinkoSolar, the DeSantis campaign was ready to send the company $2.4 million in tax rebates but withdrew its intention to do so after federal agents stormed the company’s factory.
JinkoSolar recently announced it would extend its factory in Florida and acknowledged “subsidies from local and provincial governments” in filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“It is important to note that while the government has not told us what this investigation is about, since the inception of [the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act], and through the present day, Customs and Border Protection has reviewed and released all of Jinko’s solar panels based on documentation provided by the company,” a spokesman for the company said.
Amid the revelations, Scott told the Washington Examiner that his decision to negotiate with JinkoSolar in 2018 has allowed working-class Floridians to make great strides.