Jimmy Patronis takes action to identify Chinese government owned businesses in Florida

Patronis' warning shot fell on deaf ears.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced Thursday that his office will now work to identify vendors in Florida who are owned or controlled by the Communist Party of China after a warning letter sent to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States fell on deaf ears.

In the letter sent in early April, Patronis warned the Chinese Ambassador that his office will identify Chinese owned or controlled businesses that are owed money from the state and warned they may withhold payments to offset the costs incurred to the state by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In April, my office issued a demand letter to the Chinese government for the harm they have caused to our citizens and state finances because of their documented cover-up of COVID-19. Since they’ve chosen to not respond to our official transmission, we’re going to follow through in our commitment of identifying Chinese owned businesses that do business with the State of Florida. This will provide us information should Florida need to withhold payments to these businesses as federal leaders sort out potential financial impacts against the Communist Party of China.”

At a Florida Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Patronis explained that his office has asked the more than 1,000 private vendors to the state of Florida to verify they are majority-owned by United States interests.

“Like many states, Florida often uses private sector partners to provide critical services to our citizens,” Patronis said in a statement. “As the Department of Financial Services (DFS) issues payments to these vendors for their services to other state agencies, we think it’s a prudent step to see if some of these businesses may be controlled or owned by the Chinese government. By calling on businesses to self-identify whether they’re majority American-owned, we’ll be able to narrow the scope of our inquiry.”

In a communication sample provided by the Department of Financial Services, the correspondence titled ‘Vendor Ownership Survey’ states the following to vendors:

“Thank you for your continued partnership with the State of Florida, United States of America. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) is attempting to identify state vendors who are owned or controlled by the Communist Party of China. DFS is charged with processing payments on behalf of the State of Florida to its vendors. In furtherance of these duties, the Department is conducting a survey of vendor ownership to determine the extent to which vendors doing business with the state are owned or controlled by United States interests,” the correspondence reads.

 “Accordingly, if you are a vendor that is domiciled in the United States and controlled directly or indirectly at all levels (meaning at least fifty percent (50.00%) ownership or more) by United States citizens and entities (“U.S. Interests”), you are hereby requested to respond within 30 days by verifying your status as a company owned and controlled by U.S. Interests, in order to avoid necessary follow up by the Department. If you are not included in the above because you are not owned or controlled by U.S. Interests, your response stating so is also requested,” the correspondence concludes.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • John

    May 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Patronis is looking for a scapegoat for his party’s lack of leadership during this pandemic. China has always been an economic threat. Stealing intellectual property has been a hallmark of their growing economy. American multinational companies have flocked to China in order to profit without regard to American workers or national security. The thinking was that once the Chinese tasted free trade and capitalism, they would throw off the yoke of communism. This hasn’t happened yet because American tech companies and others have sold them the means to track and control their population. The signs of a rising China has taken years. Both parties have seen the writing on the wall. Now, China is taking control of Hong Kong. Trump and the Republican Party are impotent in the face of these events and refuse to accept responsibility.

  • Pedro

    May 29, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    I have to agree, if republicans were so concerned with doing business with China they wouldn’t have made it so easy for them to do business with us. Now that they need to deflect blame on US performance concerning the virus, china seems to be an easy target. I really doubt the Party of Trump could actually have the ability to do anything about this.

  • Palmer Tom

    May 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Another Trump puppet.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 30, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Jimmy jimmy Jimmy. The strain on the east coast came from Europe stupid!

Comments are closed.


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