DeSantis Gave Chinese Firm In Florida A Tax Break

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) reportedly gave a $90,000 tax credit in 2020 to a Chinese firm later investigated by the federal government for violating forced labor laws.

DeSantis provided the $90,000 windfall to JinkoSolar, a company headquartered in China that owns a solar panel factory in Jacksonville, Florida. The subsidy came through the Florida governor’s urban job tax credit program because JinkoSolar had created 90 jobs in Duval County in 2020.

According to state records discovered by the Washington Examiner, DeSantis gave out the sizable tax break despite past denials claiming his administration had not.

The Department of Homeland Security raided the Jacksonville factory belonging to JinkoSolar in 2022, two years after it received the tax credit from the State of Florida. The DHS raid was part of an investigation into allegations that JinkoSolar had violated the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Rose Hebert, a spokeswoman for the state commerce department, did not deny the tax kickback for JinkoSolar, but said it was from a partnership with the company that rolled over from the administration of Gov. Rick Scott (R). She further noted that DeSantis “prohibited all Chinese companies” from receiving state incentives with a 2023 law.

The presidential campaign of former President Donald Trump seized upon the JinkoSolar report for the 2024 contest that includes Trump and DeSantis, who is also seeking the Republican Party nomination. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign accused the Florida governor of being “a shill for China and a CCP sympathizer who will go to great lengths to protect them.”

Trump leads DeSantis in the latest Republican primary polls by a margin of 59%, with Trump polling at 68% and DeSantis at 9%. The Florida governor saw his numbers slip in November from previous highs at 24% in an Echelon Insights survey, and 25% in a poll by McLaughlin & Associates.