Four Key Moments from the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Hearing on Countering Chinese Trade and Investment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – China’s unfair trade practices have repeatedly cheated American workers, farmers, and small businesses in its decades-long pursuit of dominance over the United States. In a hearing led by Trade Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (NE-03), Ways and Means members exposed how the Biden Administration’s weak-on-China trade policies have failed to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s rising influence around the world, allowing America’s intellectual property and economic assets to be stolen and making American products less competitive.
Chairman Smith Calls for an End to Unfair Chinese Practices that Cheat American Workers, Farmers, and Small Businesses
With working Americans hurt the worst by decades of unfair trade practices by China, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) called for Congress to put the interests of American workers, farmers, and small businesses first.
Chairman Smith: “Republicans and Democrats often talk about our differences, but today we are here to share a common message: the folks who fuel, feed, and build our country have become collateral damage in China’s aggressive trade agenda. It is time we stood up for them. It is time to combat China’s human rights abuses, predatory trade practices, espionage, and theft that, for too long, have threatened our supply chains and cheated American farmers, manufacturers, families, and workers.”
The Biden Administration Is Allowing China to Continue Stealing America’s Medical Innovation
Despite China’s prolific theft of American intellectual property, President Biden’s surrender of American medical technology in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver allows China to further exploit American medical innovations for its own gain. In a question to former US Trade Representative Chief of Staff Jamieson Greer, Subcommittee Chairman A. Smith laid out how China’s intellectual property theft is a part of its long-term ambition of establishing dominance over the global economy.
Trade Subcommittee Chairman Smith: “The Trump Administration rightly highlighted China’s IP theft and forced technology transfer policies. China is also aggressively seeking to dominate global medical supply chains. In the face of this, it is deeply concerning that the Biden Administration has completely undermined, in my opinion, American innovation through the TRIPS waiver. It seems the Administration is content to see our medical supply chain shift abroad. Given your perspective, how would you say the TRIPS waiver impacts our credibility when it comes to protecting our innovative edge? And could you speak to China’s ambitions in the greater medical sector?”
Mr. Greer: “China has ambitions whether it’s medical devices or pharmaceuticals or biologics or other life sciences. This is an area where they want to take over the global economy. They want to corner the market on this, not just in the manufacture, but also in the innovation of these products. Intellectual property is key to this. When I hear about a waiver of intellectual property protections, to me that sounds like the reverse of enforcement.”
President Biden Is Allowing China to Flood the U.S. Market with Solar Panels, Undercutting U.S. Workers and Supply Chains
Last year, President Biden undermined the work of his own Commerce Department to address unfair trade by China when he signed a Proclamation that prevents any new tariffs for two years on Chinese solar cells and modules that are shipped through four countries in Southeast Asia. The move was puzzling as China has been skirting U.S. trade law for years to flood the American market with solar products. Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-03) highlighted how President Biden is rewarding China’s bad behavior with unlimited access to the American market.
Rep. Murphy: “The President issued an emergency declaration to allow imports of unfairly traded solar products from China into the U.S. with no additional tariffs for two years. That hadn’t been done since 1946, when President Truman brought in wood, so we could build houses after World War II. Mr. Greer, I’m an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution of disapproval, which would reverse the Administration’s emergency declaration that suspends these tariffs on Chinese solar products that are circumventing US trade laws through four other countries.
“Can you help me understand why we would embolden China to destroy American jobs and cheat American manufacturers?”
Mr. Greer: “I can’t help you understand that because it doesn’t make sense to me either.”
Democrats Join Republicans in Raising the Alarm About China’s Rising Global Influence
Both Democrats and Republicans see that China uses trade to exploit other countries solely for its own benefit. Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) pointed out that Congress must take action to curtail China’s abuses of developing countries through bad debt deals and its Belt and Road Initiative.
Rep. Blumenauer: “I was one of those people that took Chinese representations at face value, voted to get them into the WTO. Watching now 20 years later, they’re doing this dual track — playing the developing country when it suits their purposes. It’s maddening. And I am hopeful that our committee can focus on things that will make a difference to be able to hold them accountable and avoid this.“