Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s husband is reportedly a top executive at a tech company that is tied to the Chinese Communist Party.
Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit, is the chief people officer for PathAI, a Massachusetts-based artificial intelligence firm backed in part by Danhua Capital, a venture capital firm linked to the CCP, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Danhua, which is based in Palo Alto, California, was founded with financial support from the CCP. The firm then invested in PathAI in 2017. It is unclear whether Danhua has contributed to PathAI since then, but it does include PathAI as one of its featured “biotech & health” holdings on its website.
Several top experts have warned the U.S. about Danhua, alleging the firms’ focus is on “emerging and disruptive technologies” that could “narrow the gap” in technological development between China and the U.S.
As commerce secretary, Raimondo is tasked with managing U.S. business relationships around the world, which means her husband’s job could create a potential conflict of interest.
Her financial disclosure forms show she would stand to benefit financially from PathAI’s success. In addition to an annual salary, Raimondo’s husband was given a significant number of ownership shares in the company as well as stock options.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Raimondo’s agency was pushing back on efforts by the Biden administration to block Chinese technology firms from working with American companies. She argued that a tough-on-China approach would hurt the U.S., the report said.
“What individual companies do is entirely up to them,” she said. “We’re not going to pressure them one way or another.”