Lawmakers To Meet With Bob Iger, Tim Cook On China’s Trade And Business Practices

Members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party plan to meet this week with Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger and Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as screenwriters and other studio executives.

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) has previously said that he wanted Iger to testify over Disney’s business dealings in the country, along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. In an appearance on Face the Nation in February, Gallagher said, “I think we can have a productive conversation with companies that have substantial business interests in China, and we want to make sure that the power of the Chinese economy is not seducing certain companies into betraying American values.”

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Disney and other studios have been criticized by lawmakers for self-censorship of movies as a way of gaining entry into the Chinese marketplace. In the Face the Nation interview, Gallagher said that “we just want to make sure that American companies are acting like Americans and embracing American values like — like free speech and plurality and things like that. So that’s the concern.”

Axios first reported on the meetings, and that Iger’s is scheduled for Wednesday. A source familiar with the plans confirmed the plans. The lawmakers also plan to meet with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

A little-publicized provision of a recently passed defense bill restricts the U.S. government from spending funds on movies that, to get Chinese authorities’ green light, are altered in the face of Chinese government dictates. Hollywood is still assessing the impact of the provision as the Defense Department draws up guidelines.

The China select committee’s first hearing in February was notable for the bipartisan concern that members showed toward China. Last month, members of both parties grilled Tik Tok CEO Shou Zi Chew over the Chinese influence on that platform. Some lawmakers are calling for a ban on the app.

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