WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) previewed a new initiative to task a number of Chairs to begin working with their Ranking Members on a bipartisan China Competition bill that builds off the work the Senate accomplished last Congress. Standing with Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Leader Schumer and SFRC Chairman Menendez announced that the Senate will hold hearings and mark-ups to shepherd this vital bipartisan legislation through Committees and onto the Floor.
They are directing the work to focus on five key policy areas:
“If the United States is to effectively compete with China on the world stage, we not only need to strengthen support for our diplomats as they work to safeguard our interests and values, but must also bolster our ability to cooperate with international allies and partners to effectively counter China’s investment and economic influence worldwide,” said Senator Menendez, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues—and hope to do so in a bipartisan fashion—to dramatically expand our economic diplomacy and ensure we are equipped to confront the China challenge head-on.”
“The United States cannot sit idly by as the Chinese Government continues to lie, cheat, and steal its way to global dominance. Time is not on our side. We need to make investments now that secure our global leadership before it is too late.” said Leader Schumer. “There is broad bipartisan support for this initiative and we have the opportunity to work this Congress on safeguarding our future. President Xi has made clear he will not stop his campaign to rival America on the world stage. We cannot stop either.”
“It’s no secret that our competitors on the world stage, like the Chinese government, are doing everything they can to get ahead and outcompete us. Staying ahead will require us to make the critical investments we need to stay competitive and secure—across government, whether it’s in research and development or our strategic partnerships abroad,” said Senator Murray, Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “The Chinese government isn’t debating whether to pay its debts or wreck its economy, and they do not operate on continuing resolutions. We cannot let partisan hostage-taking by House Republicans win the day—and lose us the 21st century, so I’m focused on passing our funding bills in a timely way to strengthen American competitiveness and security.”
“When American workers are in a fair contest, they can outcompete anyone in the world. This bill is a chance to put points on the board for American workers and employers so the United States can fairly compete with China. The bipartisan Finance Committee trade title going after China’s trade cheating passed by a huge margin last Congress and we want to work to get a new package across the finish line in a bipartisan way,” said Senator Wyden, Chair of the Finance Committee.
“Successfully addressing the multi-dimensional challenges posed by China requires a strategic, whole-of-government effort. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance legislation that boosts U.S. technology, innovation, trade, diplomacy, and more. These are force multipliers for the Department of Defense and help keep our country safe, deter aggression, and protect American interests around the world. This new China Competition 2.0 bill will help build on the progress of the CHIPS and Science Act and further strengthen America’s ability to work with our partners to advance peace and prosperity and promote stability,” said Senator Reed, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Last Congress, we made historic progress to rebuild our infrastructure, position the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change, and spur the creation of clean energy manufacturing jobs across our nation,” said Senator Carper, Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Now, we have an opportunity to build on that progress with bipartisan legislation to make our nation more competitive globally and reduce our reliance on foreign adversaries. I believe that bipartisan solutions are lasting solutions and competition against the Chinese government is something that can and should unite us.”
“We have a challenge with China. They are not playing by the rules of international engagement. We have to be smarter. Our national security depends on small businesses that work to keep communities safe,” said Senator Cardin, Chair of the Small Business Committee. “When 99 percent of businesses in America are small businesses and 40 percent of our GDP is from small businesses, we must prioritize the tools they need to compete with China, strengthen U.S. manufacturing, and ensure American leadership in emerging technologies. I am eager to work together with our colleagues across the aisle on a Small Business Administration reauthorization that will keep our communities safe by strengthening small businesses.”
“U.S. competition with the Xi regime is one of the most pressing issues facing our economy and national security today. Congress must continue to respond to the threats posed by the PRC’s increasing aggression and malign influence around the globe,” said Senator Shaheen, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. “Today, Democrats are putting a marker down about where we need to invest to safeguard our national interests at home and abroad by building on the progress made through the historic CHIPS and Science Act. We have an important opportunity to seize the momentum in Congress to further bolster our domestic supply chain, strengthen trade and investment overseas, drive innovation and build tomorrow’s technology workforce, empower U.S. companies to compete more effectively and cement our relationships with partners and allies to better respond to the Xi regime’s threats. We must act on these priorities today to maintain U.S. global leadership tomorrow.”
“China is making huge investments in the key technologies – like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced energy, and synthetic biology – that will help determine economic and security dominance in the 21st century. If we want to stay competitive with China, we need to keep up. We made a down payment towards that goal with the CHIPS bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue advancing these efforts in a bipartisan way,” said Senator Warner, Chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The competition between the US and China is a competition between democracy and autocracy,” said Senator Merkley, Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “We must strengthen our enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. America must never tolerate slave labor and genocide. And we must intensify our ability to block China’s transnational repression, in which China seeks to silence American residents from criticizing Chinese policies and human rights violations by threatening them directly or by threatening their family members still living in China. This is a direct attack on our freedom of speech that merits the most aggressive response.”
“China does not share our values. With growing political unrest around the world, we continue to open ourselves up to risk and harm by continuing or increasing our reliance on supply chains controlled by foreign adversaries. We must do everything in our power to streamline American manufacturing and eliminate our reliance on countries that do not wish us well. Our adversaries are not hesitating to deploy their energy resources to achieve their goals, and neither should we,” said Senator Manchin, Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“The United States faces a critical opportunity to strengthen U.S. industry and promote American global leadership as we increase our strategic competition with China,” said Senator Coons, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. “I’m proud to join fellow Senate Democrats in building on the incredible progress of the last two years to bolster our national security by countering Chinese economic coercion, strengthening the Development Finance Corporation’s ability to invest in critical infrastructure overseas, and ensuring the technology of the 21st century is made right here at home.”
“As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, we need to acknowledge that the most dangerous import from China into the United States is fentanyl. It is Chinese chemicals that are sent to Mexico, which end up in the transit of heroin and fentanyl to the United States, killing thousands of American citizens. We can make bipartisan new investments in interrupting that trade of fentanyl and precursors ending up in the United States,” said Senator Murphy, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
“Our nation continues to face significant threats to our economic and national security, including disruptive cyber-attacks from hackers with ties to the Chinese government and illicit drugs like fentanyl that often originate in China. I’m also concerned that our overreliance on foreign suppliers of critical medications puts our national security at risk,” said Senator Peters, Chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Our efforts will help combat these threats, strengthen investments in our domestic manufacturing capabilities, and ensure that the United States can outcompete anyone on the global stage – including the Chinese government.”