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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Attorney General William Barr Assesses The Threats Posed By The Global Ambitions Of The People's Republic Of China

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – United States Attorney General William Barr addressed an audience of corporate and academic leaders at the President Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the threats posed by the People’s Republic of China to American business and academic interests. Following his speech, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey of the National Security Division, and United States Attorneys Andrew B. Birge, Western District of Michigan, and Matthew Schneider, Eastern District of Michigan, discussed the Department’s China Initiative, a program designed to counter those threats and protect American business and ingenuity.

Following Attorney General Barr’s speech and the presentation on the China Initiative, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hickey and U.S. Attorneys Birge and Schneider took questions from attendees. Also available to the audience were Special Agent in Charge Steven D’Antuono of the Detroit Field Division of the FBI, Special Agent in Charge Dan Clutch of the Department of Commerce-Office of Export Enforcement-Chicago Regional Office, and Deputy Special Agent in Charge Angie Salazar of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations-Detroit Division.

“Attorney General Barr offered a clear-eyed assessment of the threats we face from the People’s Republic of China and what it will take for our country to respond,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. “The initiative we discussed after his remarks presented the audience with a similarly stark picture and the law enforcement resources we can make available to help protect our businesses and institutions and, ultimately, our national security.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that the largest economic, military, and geopolitical threat to the United States is the communist government of the People’s Republic of China. It is time that Michigan businesses recognize the China threat with open eyes,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. “Our businesses must realize they are dealing with a regime whose goal is often to rob them of their business information, replicate it in China, and then kick businesses out of the marketplace.”

“Michigan, and particularly the Grand Rapids area, has long been synonymous with advanced manufacturing and American ingenuity. That is why it made perfect sense for the Attorney General to come here to deliver his policy speech about the threats American industry faces from the Chinese Communist Party,” said Adam S. Hickey, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division. “This dialogue with Michigan’s corporate and academic leaders was a terrific success, because it provided them with an accurate view of the threat landscape, which should better prepare them to protect themselves.”

A special thanks to Elaine Didier, Director of the Gerald R. Ford Museum and to the corporate and academic institution leaders who attended.

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Updated July 17, 2020