On Monday, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Time to Choose Act which would prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies from contracting with consulting firms like McKinsey & Company who are simultaneously providing services to the Chinese government or its affiliates. The bill would force these government contractors to choose whether to stand with the United States in its efforts to protect Americans against China’s imperial ambitions, or forfeit U.S. government contracts.
“The fact that these consultants are awarded huge contracts by our Defense Department and other federal agencies, while they are simultaneously working to advance China’s efforts to coerce the United States is appalling and completely unacceptable,” said Senator Hawley. “It is well past time that we hold these companies accountable and prohibit this kind of conflict of interest in government contracting.”
Recent reporting has revealed that McKinsey & Co., which regularly receives multi-million dollar contracts from federal agencies like DOD, has also contracted with Chinese state-owned entities that have been blacklisted by the U.S. for actively undermining American national security.
The Time to Choose Act would:
- Prohibit federal agencies from contracting with consulting firms that hold a contract with the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, or subsidiaries, affiliates, or proxies thereof.
- Impose penalties on consulting firms that intentionally hide or misrepresent contracts with the Chinese entities described above, including:
- Terminating affected federal contracts.
- Debarring relevant firms from future work with the federal government.
- Requiring relevant firms to pay damages equivalent to three times the amount spent by the U.S. government on or in support of the solicitation, selection, or performance of such contracts, pursuant to theFalse Claims Act.
You can read the bill text here.