Is Congress preparing a great trade gift for China?
Despite the political division of the United States in recent years, Americans agree on one issue: China. They are concerned about America’s heavy dependence on supply chains in China. They are shocked by China’s use of slave labor in its factories. And they see China openly supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and accusing the United States of being an aggressor.
Americans do not want to depend on a hostile nation in their daily needs. And so Congress should just be acting. However, if the House of Representatives and the Senate pass a new bill on China, this could be corrected. This is because some Republicans in the Senate are pushing for legislation that would really increase America’s dependence on imports from China.
Over the past 20 years, America has lost 3.7 million jobs because of China. During this time, Beijing has gradually expanded its dominance in high-tech industries while increasing military operations in the South China Sea. Beijing has also struck a “borderless” alliance with Russia, which includes China, which buys Russian oil and promotes Moscow’s misinformation about the war in Ukraine.
Americans are rightly concerned about this and want to end the nation’s dependence on factories in China. New Morning Consult polls show that 73 percent of voters are in favor of trade facilities such as tariffs on China to protect U.S. industry and workers. And 71 percent want the federal government to continue to impose tariffs on Chinese exports.
In February, the House of Representatives passed the America Competes Act, a law aimed at boosting US competitiveness against China. The bill includes language to close the loophole, which currently allows duty-free entry to Chinese goods shipped to the U.S. for less than $ 800.
Unfortunately, House law now has to compete with China’s deeply flawed bill – USICA – passed by the Senate last summer. Unlike the COMPETES Act, the Senate bill will actually ease tariffs imposed from China for stealing American technology. It also involves easing tariffs for Chinese exporters who claim “lost profitability”. In fact, USICA obliges the US Treasury Department to send billions of dollars to Chinese exporters as part of a “tariff return.”
Currently, the House of Representatives and the Senate are trying to combine the two bills into a final bill. And that’s what the American people need to pay close attention to, as some high-ranking Republicans are pushing for a bill in the Senate on the orders of multinational companies.
Pennsylvania voters should pay special attention to the fact that their own Senator Pat Toomie is a member of the conference committee that is negotiating bills for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Voters should urge Senator Tumi to stand up for U.S. manufacturers – and make sure tariffs on China are not eased just to boost the profits of major retailers and importers.
The vast majority of Americans are in favor of tariffs on China. Thus, Congress must reject efforts to weaken U.S. trade laws or allow fictitious tariff exemptions. It’s time to bring back American production through a credible Chinese bill that upholds America’s workers and producers.
Michael Stumo is the CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA). Follow him on Twitter at @michael_stumo