Josh Hawley Wants To Ban Federal Contracts For China

( Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley has proposed a new bill that would prevent the federal government in the U.S. from awarding any contracts to consulting firms that have links in any way to China.

The bill is being called “The Time to Choose Act.” It would prohibit all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, from awarding contracts to consulting firms based in the United States if they have any contract with the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese government or any of their subsidiaries.

As Hawley said in supporting his proposal:

The fact that these consultants are awarded huge contracts by our Defense Department and other federal agencies, while they are simultaneously working to advance China‚Äôs efforts to coerce the United States is appalling and completely unacceptable. It is well past time that we hold these companies accountable and prohibit this kind of conflict of interest in government contracting.”

The issue that Hawley raised by crafting and introducing his bill was brought to light this year when it was revealed that major consulting business McKinsey & Company was working for corporations in China while they also had many contracts with the United States federal government.

It was revealed that McKinsey has brought in $900 million in contracts from the United States government just since 2008. Some contracts it worked on for the U.S. include for Space Force, the F-35 program as well as IT infrastructure for the DOD.

McKinsey also, though, has worked with the China Communications Construction Company, an entity that helped to build man-made islands in the South China Sea, which is contested. It’s also worked with the China Ocean Shipping Company, a business that helps the navy of China.

In addition to prohibiting federal agencies from awarding new contracts to firms that have these types of contracts with China, Hawley’s bill would also force agency’s to immediately cease any current contracts they have with such firms. The contracts with the U.S. government could remain in place if the business was willing to give up their contracts with the Chinese-related entities.

Consulting firms that have their existing federal contracts terminated because of their reluctance to end their relationships with the Chinese government would face a fine that would be equal to triple what the federal government in the U.S. spent on the particular contract they held.

Any consulting firm that is found to have tried to misrepresent or hide affiliations with the government in China would be subject to big penalties under Hawley’s proposed bill. In addition, these consulting firms would then be banned from every receiving a U.S. federal government contract in the future.

Hawley is going hard after consulting firms, with an obvious direct aim at McKinsey & Company as he and some of his colleagues in Congress look to prevent a major U.S. federal contractor from supporting one of America’s biggest enemies abroad.