Shady Dealings: Huawei and Bain Capital

The Dem rapid response team debuted this ad today following a 60 minutes report last night and the House Intelligence Committee's report today on Hauwei.

Mitt Romney's connection to the deal, as implied by the video above, is that Romney would have financially benefited if Bain had been successful in partnering with Huawei in their bid to acquire American company 3Com because Romney still derives a paycheck from Bain.

via Ryan Grim

In 2007 and 2008, Bain Capital partnered with Huawei -- pronounced Wa-way -- to take electronics manufacturer 3Com private in a $2.2 billion deal. The Bush administration raised national security concerns and refused to approve the deal. Huawei is closely tied to the Chinese military, and was founded by a former army major.

Two years earlier, Bain had tried to buy its way into a joint partnership between 3Com and Huawei, but 3Com fended it off.

Bain didn't give up. Later in 2008, it made a bid for Huawei's mobile handset unit, but the company decided not to sell. In December 2011, Bain finally got its piece of China's telecom world, buying the surveillance company Uniview from the joint venture it had failed to join.

Uniview uses advance technology to enable the Chinese government to track dissidents in and out of their homes, at demonstrations, or wherever else they may travel.

The Romneys hold assets in a so-called "blind" trust associated with Bain Capital Asia, the fund that purchased surveillance company Uniview after the deal with 3Com was rejected, according to the New York Times.

The report released by the House Intelligence Committee today advised against doing business with Huawei because of their close ties to the Chinese government and the threat their access to American networks poses.

WASHINGTON (AP) — American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms because they pose a national security threat to the United States, the House Intelligence Committee is warning in a report to be issued Monday.

The panel says U.S. regulators should block mergers and acquisitions in this country by Huawei Technologies and ZTE, among the world's leading suppliers of telecommunications gear and mobile phones.

Reflecting U.S. concern over cyber-attacks traced to China, the report also recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from the two firms because that could pose an espionage risk.

It may not be fair to imply that Mitt Romney had anything to do with the actions of Bain Capital as recently as in 2007, however he did found and guide the principles of the company for 25 years and still owes a substantial amount of his income and investments to their legacy.

More than anything, this story demonstrates that private equity is utterly bipartisan in its pursuit of making a buck at the expense of anyone who happens to get in the way. And given Mitt Romney's astonishing mendacity along the campaign trail and his history as the Outsourcer in Chief of Bain, the way his administration would handle this kind of security risk seems entirely suspect.

Here's the full 60 minutes report on Huawei which debuted last night.

When Mitt Romney says it's time to "get tough on China," stories like this make it exceedingly difficult to take him seriously. Between his candid anecdotes about working conditions at a factory purchased by a Bain partner and Bain's history of aiding companies in their quest to lower their bottom lines by outsourcing jobs to China, why should anyone?

But, you know, Romney has "never heard of" laws that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas. Or at least that's what he claimed during the first presidential debate. "Maybe I need a new accountant."