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ICYMI: Michigan Senate candidate spews anti-China rhetoric despite working to expand Chinese companies and personal wealth

May 09, 2024

This week, Heartland Signal exposed that Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rogers personally benefited from Chinese companies, despite his staunch anti-China rhetoric. During his time in Congress, Rogers refused to support trade restrictions with China and, to this day, gets paid by a business that has direct connections with a Chinese company that both Presidents Biden and Trump sanctioned. 

“Mike Rogers will say anything to get elected—even if it directly contradicts his own actions,” said Tiffany Muller, President of End Citizens United // Let America Vote. “His tough-on-China talk is nothing more than a facade to hide how much he’s personally benefited from these companies, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars. He put his own finances and Chinese corporations above working Michiganders and our national security. It’s clear that he cannot be trusted to do anything aside from padding his own bottom line.” 

Heartland Signal: Michigan Senate candidate spews anti-China rhetoric despite working to expand Chinese companies and personal wealth

Richard Eberwein

Key points:

  • In line with many GOP Senate candidates like David McCormick and Eric Hovde, Rogers’ campaign website is full of tough-on-China rhetoric, with one section claiming that the former congressman was “among the first to sound the alarm on the economic and national security danger posed by China.”
  • In direct contrast to these words, Rogers opposed trade restrictions on China during his 14 years in Congress from 2001-2015. In 2005, Rogers did not cosponsor a bill to withdraw permanent normal trade relations with China, despite several House Republicans doing so.
  • In addition to his actions in Congress, Rogers has also personally benefited from his connections to China in opposition to U.S. national security interests. According to Rogers’ own financial disclosures from December, he worked as a risk analyst for the American branch of the European technology company Nokia for the last seven years, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. During Rogers’ tenure with Nokia, the company has conducted extensive business deals with the Chinese tech companies like Huawei.
  • Since 2018, the U.S. has sanctioned Huawei and prohibited the government from using the company’s products over national security concerns.
  • The Biden administration also banned the sale of Huawei products in 2022.
  • At the same time, Nokia was strengthening its connections with Huawei, with a licensing deal in December 2022 and another one with a Huawei subsidiary called Honor in 2024. According to Rogers’ financial disclosures, he did not leave Nokia after these deals were closed and still gets paid as a risk analyst to this day. In 2012, Rogers specifically condemned the dangers of Huawei when he co-authored a report regarding the company’s national security threats. He also urged U.S. businesses against conducting business with Huawei during a “60 Minutes” interview in 2012.