EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE HOUSE THAT A CHINESE STATE-OWNED ENERGY COMPANY COULD TAKE ACTION THAT WOULD THREATEN THE UNITED STATES -- (House of Representatives - June 30, 2005)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker I rise with great reservations over this legislation. Why is the federal government involving itself in the sale of a private American company? Do we really believe we have this kind of authority?
I would remind my colleagues that Unocal is a private company with shareholders and a board of directors. That is the governance of the company-not the U.S. Congress. Do we really believe that we should be the real board of governors of Unocal?
If in the United States a private company does not have the right to be sold on the free market, should we really be criticizing the lack of freedom in China? Many conservatives who have decried the recent Supreme Court decision that severely undermines the principle of private property in the United States are now on the other side, cheering this blatant Congressional attempt to do something that may be even worse than Kelo vs. New London.
I voted recently against allowing the EximBank to use U.S. taxpayer money to underwrite Chinese construction of nuclear power plants. I do not support subsidizing the Chinese government's economic activities. But I also do not support the U.S. Congress involving itself in the private economic transactions of U.S. companies.
Some have raised concerns that the purchase of Unocal by a company tied to the Chinese government will create security problems for the United States. I would argue the opposite. International trade and economic activity tends to diminish, not increase tensions between countries. Increased economic relationships between the United States and China make military conflict much less likely, as it becomes in neither country's interest to allow tensions to get out of hand.
Mr. Speaker, we should not criticize a lack of economic freedom in China when Congress, as evidenced in this legislation, attempts to restrict the economic freedom of American citizens.
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