What's behind Justin Amash's call for impeaching President Trump?
Until he called for impeaching President Trump (see his tweets laying out his reasoning — if it can be called such — on the subject here), Rep. Justin Amash was barely on my radar, notable only for his libertarian absolutism (he is heavily backed by the Koch network) and his anti-Israel views, as Paul Mirengoff noted at Powerline:
Amash is a Palestinian-American. He routinely votes against Israel's interests. For example, he voted against additional funding for Israel's anti-missile system, Iron Dome, during the 2014 Gaza war. He even voted against a bill to set a 90-day deadline for President Donald Trump to fill the position of anti-Semitism monitor. Apparently, the bill would have passed unanimously but for Amash's opposition.
"Undistinguished" is the kindest adjective I can think of to describe his political career to date. He has accomplished absolutely nothing that I can point to.
But with his call to impeach Trump, Amash suddenly is a media darling and no doubt has many tempting options ahead as he ponders a run for president as a Libertarian Party nominee, following in the footsteps of Gary Johnson.
So he now has fame and the possibility of a presidential candidacy. That's certainly enough for many politicians to take a position that is opposed by nearly everyone else in their party. But both Sundance of Conservative Treehouse and Shane Trejo of Big League Politics have noticed that Amash has a major financial stake in a company that manufactures in China and imports into the American market — a company obviously harmed by President Trump's hard line on trade and recent imposition of radically higher tariffs on some Chinese imports, with threats to expand the 25% tariffs to all imports.
In Amash's financial disclosure forms for the year of 2015, he was shown as receiving up to $1 million in annual income due to his ownership stake in Michigan Industrial Tools (MIT). MIT is the parent company of Tekton Tools, Amash's family business, that benefits directly from Chinese manufacturing.
An article from MLive in 2010 exposed Amash as being the co-owner of Dynamic Source International (DSI), a Chinese company that was once an MIT supplier. Amash's family have been outspoken advocates of the globalist trade status quo for many years.
"Trade with China is providing American consumers with good quality tools that could not be made for those prices in the United States," said John Amash, Justin's brother, who is President of Tekton Tools.
Sundance notes that Amash is receiving major income from this business:
In his 2017 financial disclosure forms (pdf here), Representative Amash reports income of between $100,000 to $1,000,000/yr. for his ownership stake in Michigan Industrial Tools. Michigan Industrial Tools is the parent company, manufacturing in China, that produces Tekton Tools, Justin Amash's Michigan family business.
Stating that the value of the business is the same as the yearly income makes no sense and raises questions about the accuracy of the report. But if cheap manufacturing in China is the basic business strategy of the firm in which Amash has a major interest, he would have a strong financial interest in halting Trump's trade initiatives by impeachment.
Amash's truthfulness about his business interests in China is also a matter of dispute, as his 2010 election opponent charged him with lying:
The old advice to "follow the money" usually is good. But with Amash such a flake, it may be just one of multiple motives.
Correction made: Koch Brothers changed to Koch network, as David Koch has retired from political activity. Hat tip: Nicholas D. Gass