Florida’s elected officials continue to prove that they are true leaders and champions in protecting the safety and business interests of our state — this time as it relates to the questionable alignment and investments of American companies directly with the Chinese government.

For far too long, the federal government has not appropriately held China accountable regarding intellectual property, investment and trade rules. This hurts our nation and our businesses, but closer to home, it hurts the small businesses that are the backbones of our communities right here in Florida. Limiting our reliance on a foreign government is a prudent decision and ensuring we do not put Floridians’ hard-earned money and tax dollars into the hands of an authoritarian government that harms its people is a moral choice.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to work with state legislators in the new year to address statutory changes that would make clear that the Communist Party of China is not a vehicle that we want to be entangled with — at any level. He recognizes the dangers that come from collaboration with companies operating in China which undoubtedly are influenced and controlled by their government. Simply put, there is no such thing as an independent company in China.

I also commend the commitment shown by Sen. Marco Rubio at the federal level regarding this same issue. Throughout the past two years, he has repeatedly questioned the work of management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He previously demanded information about the company’s work in China and that they explain how it prevents conflicts of interest between its consulting work for the U.S. government and for Chinese clients close to the Beijing government.

While McKinsey initially denied any collaboration with the Chinese government, it recently came to light that they lied to Rubio and his staff. Rubio’s relentless efforts to uncover the truth proves just how widespread these corrupt foreign relationships are and how elected officials must commit to uncovering the truth.

This attention and alignment shown by DeSantis and Rubio demonstrates that if the highest level of our federal government will not step up to the plate and call out the corruption taking place, Florida’s leaders are up for the challenge. They will not sit idly by while U.S. dollars are funneled into China leaving us exposed and they will ensure that companies doing business in the U.S., especially here in Florida, are held to a higher standard that protects the safety and integrity of all Americans.

Sal Nuzzo is Vice President of Policy at The James Madison Institute.

Read the original article from Orlando Sentinel here: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-protect-economy-foreign-influence-desantis-rubio-20220101-qu4wtzwm2fe27oabikryo7u2zq-story.html