WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and James Risch (R-Ind.) applauded the Senate passage of their legislative initiative aimed at helping countries facing economic coercion from China. The provision was included in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which just passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support.
This legislation creates a pilot program to deploy economic crisis action teams to countries facing economic coercion, including threats from China. These teams of experts have the ability to review, at the invitation of U.S. allies and partners, contracts including those that are a part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. This is a powerful tool that empowers the United States to go on the offensive against the most destructive aspects of China’s economic practices.
“China has been using its financial power and connections to expand its scope of influence in America and around the world for years,” said Cardin. “Our amendment will strengthen the ability of the U.S. to counter strategic and economic threats to our allies and our own national security.”
“Over the past several years, we have seen China weaponize economic investment to expand its reach, undermine global competition and commerce, and manipulate the rules-based trading system for their own benefit. The United States cannot stand on the sidelines. We must step up and help protect our international allies and partners by providing technical expertise where we can to countries that experience economic coercion,” said Portman. “Passage of this amendment will help provide our friends and allies with the critical support they need to combat China’s nefarious and coercive economic practices.
“As I’ve said, the Chinese Communist Party regularly inflicts economic pain on countries that don’t show deference to Beijing’s political interests,” said Risch. “I am glad this provision was included in the United States Innovation and Competition Act to ensure we have the tools needed to provide tangible support and collaboration to countries facing this type of coercion.”