Chinese Biotech Company Enlists Firm of Bob Casey’s Brother in Bid To Stay off a U.S. Blacklist

Bob Casey (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
April 4, 2024

A Chinese biotechnology company linked to the Chinese Communist Party has hired the lobbying firm of Sen. Bob Casey’s (D., Pa.) brother as it fights legislation that would restrict its business in the United States over national security concerns.

WuXi AppTec hired Dentons Global Advisors last month to lobby on "federal matters regarding biotechnology," according to disclosures submitted to Congress. Patrick Casey, the younger brother of the three-term senator, is a partner at Dentons Global, which advises its clients how to "work with policymakers to achieve their goals." Former aides to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R., Ill.) are the lobbyists of record for WuXi, which develops pharmaceutical ingredients and operates genetic testing centers Beijing uses to target Uyghurs.

Casey, who is up for reelection this year, could play a key role in the fate of WuXi and other Chinese biotech firms given his position on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Intelligence officials warned senators in a private briefing in February that WuXi poses national security concerns because of its ties to the People’s Liberation Army, Reuters reported.

WuXi hired Dentons as it fights against legislation that would restrict Chinese biotech firms from working with American companies. WuXi is at the center of the debate amid allegations it has transferred genetic data to the Chinese government and works closely with the People’s Liberation Army.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), the chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, says WuXi has "extensive ties" to the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army. He said its genetic testing centers are the kind that the CCP has used in the past "as part of its genocide campaign targeting Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups."

WuXi vice chairman Edward Hu told analysts last month the firm "has been actively working together with its advisers to set the record straight and advocate for changes to the proposed legislation," according to the Financial Times.

Casey's office did not respond to a request for comment. Senate ethics rules prohibit the senator from having any "lobbying" contact with his brother. Dentons Global Advisors told the Washington Free Beacon Patrick Casey "is not involved in any capacity" with WuXi.

Republicans on the Senate intelligence panel scrutinized President Joe Biden’s nominee for CIA general counsel, Kate Heinzelman, over her work for WuXi. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), the top Republican on the committee, and most other Republicans voted against her, while Casey and all other Democrats voted for her.

Casey has been noncommittal on other plans to block Chinese tech firms that pose national security concerns from doing business in the United States. Casey has not said whether he would vote to ban TikTok, the popular social media app. Intelligence officials say the Chinese Communist Party controls TikTok and could use the platform to collect information on Americans, and use it as a propaganda tool to promote China’s interests.

WuXi Biologics, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, has hired the lobbying firm FGS Global to make "introductions" for the company to members of Congress and administration officials, according to lobbying disclosures. Its lobbyists have worked for former House majority leader Dick Gephardt (D., Mo.) and Rep. Bill Keating (D., Mass.).