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Risch, Gardner, Romney, Young Introduce Landmark Legislation to Compete with China

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) today introduced the Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology, and Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives Concerning China Act (The STRATEGIC Act) to advance a comprehensive strategy for U.S. competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“The Chinese Communist Party is re-shaping the international order to benefit authoritarian regimes and directly undermine American and democratic interests,” said Risch. “That is why we have introduced the first comprehensive package of legislation that provides a U.S. strategy that will safeguard our interests, and those of our allies and partners, and retain our position as a global leader. It is my intent and hope that this legislation will provide a blueprint to advance bipartisan cooperation in all aspects of the competition with China in 2020, and beyond.”

“The Chinese Communist Party bullies its neighbors, oppresses its own people, and is attempting to impose its repressive values around the world, including right here in the United States,” said Gardner. “I am proud to partner with Chairman Risch, Senator Young, and Senator Romney on this comprehensive legislation that will enhance U.S. policy toward China, reinvest in our national competitiveness, and advance American values of human rights and freedom in the Indo-Pacific.”

“Addressing the threat that China poses to our fundamental values of freedom, human rights, and free enterprise is the central challenge facing us in the 21st century,” said Romney. “We must take decisive action now to confront China’s growing aggression and dissuade them from their predatory efforts. This legislation develops additional tools to help us understand China’s intent, guard against China’s malign influence, and safeguard our interests.”

“The Chinese Communist Party has presented the United States with a test unlike any other that we have faced as a country. Their actions challenge our values, our interests, and if able to lead, they will challenge our very way of life. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the STRATEGIC Act. This legislation represents a critical step forward as we confront Beijing while working to ensure that our universal values, our economy and our alliances are preserved for the next generation and beyond,” said Young.

Key provisions of the senators’ legislation:

  • Tackle China’s economic practices that distort global markets and hurt U.S. businesses, especially IP theft and mass government subsidization and sponsorship of Chinese companies.
  • Confront tech competition by increasing technology collaboration with allies and partners.
  • Safeguard institutions from malign and undue PRC influence.
  • Strengthen U.S. posture in the Indo-Pacific to protect its interests, allies, and partners.
  • Prioritize cooperation over conflict when possible on areas such as arms control, North Korea, and the environment, if the PRC demonstrates good faith and transparency.

Full text of this legislation can be found here.

In the press:

The Financial Times wrote an exclusive report on the STRATEGIC Act earlier today: “In an interview with the Financial Times, Jim Risch of Idaho, the Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, said the US lacked a “comprehensive long-term strategy” to prod China to abide by international economic norms.

“He also said the US needed to tackle an “increasingly unfavourable” military balance in the Pacific region by strengthening alliances with key countries including Japan, South Korea and Australia.

“Under legislation expected to be announced on Wednesday, Mr Risch was to float a number of measures to rein in China at a time when relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated due to the coronavirus pandemic and tensions over Hong Kong.”