Newsom’s Nearly $1 Billion Mask Deal

From: David Rufful
Posted: 2020-04-23 18:54:28
Newsom’s Nearly $1 Billion Mask Deal With China Draws Heavy Criticism
David Rufful

Was this a BAD deal by Gov. Newsom?
The governor of California is under heavy scrutiny for making a deal worth nearly $1 billion, to receive 200 million masks per month from a Chinese manufacturer.
Lawmakers have begun to demand details of Gavin Newsom’s deal, according to Fox News.

Newsom’s advisors have declined requests for comment from the Los Angeles Times about the agreement, which was inked with Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD.
(BYD stands for Build Your Dreams.)

When BYD initially formed in 1995, it was a batter manufacturer.
In 2008, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 24.8% stake in the company.
Since then, it’s grown into the largest electric car makers and partnered with Toyota.
When Newsom was pressed for more information on the deal, he responded,

“I’m for outcome here. Some are consumed by process, personality, intrigue. Who’s up, who’s down. We are for actually solving a major, major problem — not only for the state but potentially a template for the country.”

Assembly Budget Committee Phil Ting said,

“It would be great to get a heads-up directly from the governor’s office rather than watching it on national TV.”
“We don’t have any information as to how many masks we’re buying, who we’re buying them from, at what price … What are we obligated? For how long are we obligated?”

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Holly Mitchell said,

“Under normal circumstances, the Legislature would have had more time to deliberate an expenditure of this magnitude and would have been allowed to thoroughly vet the details of the contract before proceeding.”

When the Time asked a BYD spokesperson for details on the negotiations, they referred reporters to Newsom’s office.

More from Fox News:
The Buffett-backed company also operates a US subsidiary in Lancaster, California, which employs about 1,000 people, according to the Times.

Despite its growth under Buffett, the company announced it saw a 42% drop in profits from 2019, citing the coronavirus pandemic, cuts to government subsidies and changes to emissions rules in China.

Around the same time, the company said on its website that it had converted one of its manufacturing facilities into “the world’s largest mass-produced face masks plant,” adding that it would make 5 million masks per day in the fight against the spread of the virus.

After announcing the deal, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pressed Newsom for details, though he would only say he had decided to utilize “the purchasing power” of California “as a nation-state,” and that of the 200 million masks, 150 million would be N95 masks and the remainder would be surgical masks.

The California Senate and Assembly have also been kept in the dark about the deal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.