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Schumer launches new China competition bill


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Wednesday a new bipartisan effort to combat China’s global influence, limit its role in developing advanced technologies and boost American competition with the country.

Schumer — flanked by 12 Democratic Senate committee chairs — said that despite “great and historic work last Congress,” on major legislation such as the CHIPS and Science Act and infrastructure law, “our work is not done” to address national security issues and adequately compete with Beijing.

“We will build on this momentum and develop new and significant bipartisan legislation,” Schumer said during a press conference announcing the initiative, which seeks to repackage many provisions left out of the CHIPS Act last year. The majority leader said he has already asked Senate committee chairs to reach out to their ranking members and other Senate Republicans to “begin working to deliver packages of bipartisan legislation, which we will combine into one large Chinese government competition bill.”

The details: Schumer said the legislative package, dubbed the China Competition Bill 2.0, will focus on five main areas: limiting the flow of advanced technologies to the Chinese government; boosting domestic economic investments; providing an alternative to China’s infrastructure project known as the Belt and Road Initiative; limiting the flow of investments to China; and deterring Beijing’s aggression toward Taiwan.

While much of the bill remains up in the air, some elements appear likely to be included in some form. One is a trade compromise struck by the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee that was dropped from CHIPS after opposition from House Democrats. That bill would renew expired tariff exemption programs, push the Biden administration to enter new trade talks overseas and toughen trade law enforcement.

New regulations on American investments in China also appear likely to be included. Lawmakers last year dropped an effort from Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) to review and potentially deny American tech investments in China. The administration is also working on an executive order along those lines, and Schumer made clear the Senate would also look to solidify those efforts into law.

Additional scrutiny will also be sought for Chinese investments in the U.S., particularly when it comes to American farmland and agriculture. And legislation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that would toughen the U.S. diplomatic stance against China is another candidate for inclusion.

Date TBD: When asked about a timeline for the package, Schumer again pointed to the bipartisan CHIPS and Science measure and said “we hope to get a bill within the next several months if we can do it. It’s a big undertaking, but that’s what we hope to do.”

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